You can’t digitalise fish and chips

You can’t digitalise fish and chips

17th Mar 2016


Article by:John Funnell

By John Funnell, Marketing and Production Director at Global Business Intelligence

I have just had the pleasure of spending a great couple of days at CIO Event, this year held at the Celtic Manor (Home of the Ryder Cup and NATO).

The speaking faculty (chaired by Myron Hrycyk – former CIO Seven Trent) met on the evening before the CIO Event for a beautiful three course meal at the golf club.

The discussion was based around Digital Transformation. We conversed for nearly three hours and heard some great insight on the subject from esteemed guests from LV, WPP, Amey, GE, Coca-Cola, Cancer Research and It was fascinating to welcome IT Leaders from such a wide range of industries and disciplines and to understand the common challenges that they all face.



Several themes developed from the evenings discussion, they were all (understandably) concerned with Digital Disruption, nobody wants to be “uber’d”. This concern moved the debate on mitigating such a risk, ultimately the solution rests with talent, finding the future minds that can keep their businesses ahead of the game. Attracting such talent is difficult, the other challenge is retaining them. How do you best support the “millennials”, whose desires and ambitions are very different to the baby boomers that are sat on the board? How do you help them fail fast without embarrassment so they are free to innovate?

You can’t speak about IT innovation without discussing Shadow IT, the constraints between departments and the security risks involved.

To conclude the evenings debate;

The digital age has created a new consumer. Everyone wants an Amazon customer experience every time. This is of course problematic if your business models do not align or cannot deliver. Your product/service might not allow for such immediacy, yet it is expected!



The following day the CIO event started with our dear friend and long term supporter Neil Ward Dutton from MWD Advisors, who chaired a fascinating debate on connecting the Digital Dots. 

The panel shared their experiences on executing joined-up strategies that integrate new explorations / innovations (around mobile, cloud, IoT, etc) with core systems, teams, capabilities and processes.

We then moved on to a day of great sessions starting with Bryan Lillie CTO Quintiq who spoke on what makes good Cyber Security?: Certification v Metrification. Then Francesco Federico - Global Digital Marketing Director Acer, spoke to a filled room on “a pragmatic Story of Digital Transformation - A CMO's perspective”. Steven Banks - Director IT Strategy and Architecture, Amey, is a regular speaker with us and futurist, he spoke on the impact of Tech on your workforce and gave some concerning predictions on the impact that the Digital world will have on the jobs market. Ed Hutt - CIO, Fitness First lead a debate on modernizing IT through digital - with a commercial edge! Neil McGowan CIO, Maplin then showed us how to leverage the power of cloud before lunch break.



After a fine lunch of Fish and Chips, Carina Hatfield, Product Manager  - Planview Uk Ltd told us how they can help us plan for the Digital Economy. Graham Francis - Director of Continuous Improvement, Havering Sixth Form College was excellent on Disaster Recovery as a service, giving an honest presentation, showcasing the good work he has done, as well as the mistakes made that we can all learn from. Su Chrighton CIO, Cancer Research then gave us a virtual tour of their labs with 3d glasses. Adam Forde CIO, Coca Cola stole the show with an epic session on IoT entitled VHS vs Betamax and finally we learnt from Rob Randall Head of Business Insight, DHL all about analytical disruption.



It was a long but beneficial day, we have already welcomed tremendous feedback from our CIO delegates and partners. If you were thinking of attending, but didn’t, I am happy to say that you missed out and I strongly suggest that you sign up for our next CIO Event.

The day finished with a Gala Dinner where Rugby Legend Scott Quinnell gave an inspirational speech, the evening was for charity in support of Ty Hafan.



We have all taken a lot from the CIO Event, it is astounding how fast things are changing, the future workforce must be prepared or they will lose their significance as the digital world takes over. Despite the threats of digital to the world as we know it, there are certain things that cannot change “you can’t digitalise fish and chips” was a comment made during the day. Digitalization is the future, yes, it will change our day to day living significantly, but it will always be limited to human needs of consumption.

Join us at the next CIO Event




John Funnell, Marketing and Production Director at Global Business Intelligence.

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