Julian Burnett - Vice President, Distribution Sector, IBM UK

Stuart Sumner
clock • 2 min read

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

I left the board of House of Fraser in February last year but my proudest moment within the last 12 months was to learn that a wide range of the digital and technology investments, organisational and commercial changes which were delivered under my leadership as CIO to drive the digital transformation there were judged to be of such significant business value that they were retained following the acquisition of the company by Sports Direct after it fell into administration, and will likely play a key role in helping to rebuild the House of Fraser business.

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

Communication - in all its forms - is the one skill that all IT leaders need.

How many people work in IT in your organisation?

I joined IBM in 2018, an organisation of nearly 400,000 people. IBM covers multiple industries and functional job roles, but we all work to serve our clients and the world in general with technology requirements which add the most value possible.

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

Helping my many UK clients to envision, plan for and invest in the advantages of artificial intelligence, blockchain and hybrid and multi-cloud management technologies. With a client list including many of the UK's best-known retail, consumer products, travel and transport companies, there is huge variety in the work my team is delivering, but these are the significant priorities for most.

What's your annual IT budget?

IBM achieved nearly $80B of revenue globally in 2018, and our work supporting clients in Retail and Consumer Products businesses is a significant part of that. More than half of our revenue is in the areas of data, AI, cloud, analytics and cybersecurity.  We invest more than $5B in R&D keeping us in the leadership slot of US patents.

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