What's your proudest work-related achievement of the last 12 months?
Creating the focus and structure that set our teams up for success. This enabled them to deliver a scalable, profitable, multi-market, multi-category operating platform for our photo businesses (Photobox, Hofmann and posterXXL) which has not only decreased the lead time to release new code by 95 per cent and to launch new physical products by 83 per cent, but also allowed us to launch new innovations that would not have been possible before. We come from a world where technology used to be a constraint on our ambition, but they are now able to deliver significant transformation to the business. After moving our entire infrastructure and database of photos to the cloud, our AI team were able to use learnings from our 7bn strong photo database to build an AI tool that enhances and streamlines the customer experience for building photo books by decreasing the build time by 80% while leaving the creative control with the customer.
What's the number one skill today's IT leaders need?
IT leaders need to understand how a business is run and how to communicate complex technological challenges and advancements in a way that businesses can interpret and link back to their objectives. By thinking about the business first and how technology can be used strategically, it will build the necessary trust among the leadership team, giving the IT leader the ability to create real change within a business.
How many people work in IT in your organisation?
At Photobox Group we have about 250 people working in tech functions in the family of our five brands - Photobox, Moonpig, Hofmann, posterXXL and Greetz.
What's your top priority for the next 12 months?
In order to maintain our leadership role in Europe, our priority is to remain ‘customer obsessed' and continue to invest in technology that will make a difference for our customers. Currently, my teams are working on a number of initiatives to improve the customer experience including a new editor - an intuitive, AI enabled world best creation experience helping customers fine tune their products by adding designs, text and graphics through a research led UX - and a new app - giving us access to the freemium market to underpin continued growth for the business.