sommai - Fotolia

BT introduces customer-facing CIO roles

As part of its overhaul in terms of how it serves its largest clients, BT has set up a team of internal CIOs to speak for enterprise and public sector customers within the wider group

BT is to create a team of internal CIOs as part of a restructure of how it approaches its large enterprise and public sector customers, who will liaise with customer CIOs and act as “the voice of the customer” in BT.

The operator believes the team will help it work better with its customers on creating long-term, shared plans for digital transformation projects.

The team will report to Philip Baulch, CIO of BT’s Major Corporate and Public Sector division. It will consist of three CIO industry leads focused on central government, defence and major business, while two further CTO and COO roles will bring extra support on bigger deals and tailored propositions.

It will be augmented by a regional CIO to whom six further localised CIOs positions will report, representing Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the south west, London and the south east, the Midlands, and the north of England.

This follows the appointment of six regional directors – representing the same geographic areas – and, according to BT, reflects its shift towards a devolved approach to its public sector business, in line with wider market and government trends. The localised CIOs will, in addition, work closely alongside their equivalent directors.

“We have a wealth of technical expertise in BT, developed over years of working with customers across all industries,” said Baulch.

“We are seeing these industries affected by huge changes – political, economic and technological. So we have transformed our own structure to meet these changing needs.

“With the decentralisation of IT spending and ownership, the new roles will focus on specific public sector verticals, as well as major corporate customers, to ensure that our customers continue to view BT as a trusted advisor and technology partner. This new approach is already bearing fruit, with significant positive feedback from our customers over the past few months.”

Read more about CIO engagement

  • CIO teams need to interact more directly with business stakeholders – from the digital sophisticates to the digital naïfs. Here are five elements of a new business engagement model.
  • SearchCIO’s Instagram snapshot of the 2017 MIT CIO Symposium explores the major sessions and themes of the event.
  • The digital supply chain can be managed in much the same way as the software supply chain, where CIOs have gained expertise in working with multiple providers to effectively run a complex ecosystem.

BT is currently engaged in a major group-wide restructuring plan, which it embarked on in May 2017, partly to realign its business to support digital transformation projects, but also partly in response to the recent book-keeping scandal at its Italian operations, which cost it dearly in its full-year results.

As part of this restructuring, which CEO Gavin Patterson said would “help offset market and regulatory pressures and create the capacity for future investment”, 4,000 jobs at BT are set to be axed, although these are coming at its troubled Global Services business unit.

Read more on IT supplier relationship management