John Lewis launches bring-your-own tablets policy for senior staff

By Stuart Sumner
06 Feb 2012 View Comments
John Lewis

Retailer John Lewis has enabled the use of staff-owned tablet devices among senior management and is looking to offer apps for employees to use in the course of their jobs.

Paul Coby, CIO at John Lewis, told Computing that a key reason behind the decision to follow the consumerisation trend is the cost savings.

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"2012 is going to be challenging in terms of budgets, and spending money on fancy devices for management staff is not the right thing to do.

"Given a lot of people have iPads, and they were absolutely flying off our shelves over Christmas, it's an opportunity to test that 'bring-your-own' policy with appropriate security measures."

The firm is also running pilot tests early this year, rolling out Cisco's Cius tablets to customer-facing staff.

"We're looking to test Cisco Cius tablets in Q1, allowing retail staff easier access to stock information. They'll also be able to go to the website to show customers products that aren't on the shelves."

On the software side, Coby is interested in developing both customer-facing apps, and apps that are purely for staff use.

"I'm looking at setting up a unit that will examine how we develop customer-facing and partner-facing apps, and how we develop our social media strategy."

Coby explained that as more people use tablet devices, and iPads in particular, it is increasingly important to ensure his firm exploits the benefits of the technology and form.

"About a fifth of our online orders come from tablet devices, which, going by our sales figures, are probably iPads. These days it's really important to actually think about how we can move the way we interact with our customers in that direction."

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