Chris Ashworth - CIO, Hermes

Stuart Sumner
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Chris Ashworth - CIO, Hermes

What's your proudest work-related achievement of the last 12 months?

The launch of our Digital Futures platform as we've been on a three-year digital transformation and this is the first product to launch from that new architecture. This product embodies everything Hermes is about as it enhances the proposition for ourselves and our clients, provides our mutual customers with enhanced assurance control and provides industry-leading convenient returns (including integration into our print-in-store devices).

What's the number one skill today's IT leaders need?

I think this is a little subjective, as I seem to have found an organisation where my skills add the most value - I'm pretty sure in some organisations I would be next to useless! In my opinion, IT leaders need to have a strong, pragmatic vision and have understanding and empathy for their own business and for their clients and customers.  

How many people work in IT in your organisation?

This number can fluctuate a little, but our base number of FTE is circa 260.

What's your top priority for the next 12 months?

I never have the luxury of one priority! Our top priorities are to finish the move to the cloud (the last 20 to 30 per cent of our infrastructure moves this summer) as it future-proofs our scalability; to roll out our new scanning solution to our hubs and depots as it will provide our customers with greater control - including diversions to parcelshops and alternative addresses; to go live with the third tier in our Rugby hub, providing additional capacity and future-proofing business growth; and to continue to enhance our customer proposition by introducing new products such as HermesPlay and Scan to win.

What's your annual IT budget?

£25m opex, £32m capex this year. I'm responsible for all strategic development, so our capex figure includes all investment including operational scaling investments.

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