For the second year in succession a British CIO has scooped a major prize at the prestigious European CIO awards hosted by CIO Net. Former National Trust now EDF Energy CIO Sarah Flannigan last night won the European CIO of Year 2017 award in the public sector category.
Flannigan who joined the UK arm of French energy firm EDF last year was awarded at the awards event held in conjunction with CIO City the major conference for European and global CIOs, held in 2017 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Flannigan left the UK’s most significant charity the National Trust in 2016 following a six year career with the National Trust, famed for preserving stately homes as well as major tracts of rural land. During Flannigan’s tenure at the National Trust she led a major transformation programme to re-imagine the processes and transactions within the Trust.
Flannigan exclusively spoke to Horizon Business Innovation at the end of her tenure at the National Trust: “It has been six and a half years in two phases; three years of fixing the basics and three years of transformation and it is now delivering and leaving the National Trust in a substantially better shape,” she told this title’s editor.
Systems Simplification Programme (SSP) was the transformation project Flannigan dubbed “her baby” during her time as CIO of the National Trust.
SSP is a £40 million investment that had a target of delivering £90 million in improvements, through areas such as automating marketing opportunities, improved access to information for customers and members and to improve back office process. Five programmes, all interrelated, focused on supporter loyalty, electronic point of sale (EPOS), digital, finance and information management.
“We have a single customer view and good analytics with Tableau, customer acquisition supporter communication is improved through our relationship with Adobe Campaign and we delivered a content rich new website and App. Tills have been rolled out to 68 properties and they are truly transformational as you can look up a customer on the till. Our retail and catering back office are now on Microsoft Navision for stock and inventory and we have a whole new set of financial and budgeting tools in place,” Flannigan told Horizon at the beginning of 2017.
CIONET is a community of IT executives in Europe. The Belgium headquartered organisation says it has a membership of over 6,500 CIOs, CTOs and IT Directors across mainland Europe and Latin America, though with no presence in the UK at present.
In 2016 Phil Jordan won the coveted European CIO of the Year award. Jordan, Group CIO at telecoms giant Telefonica at the time is now heading to UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s.
Group CIO at Telefonica is one of the largest CIO roles in Europe, the organisation provides network services across Spain, South America, Asia as well as Central and North America. In May Sainsbury’s announced that Jordan was joining the London headquartered supermarket as Group CIO.