Who will be iTnews' Retail CIO of the year?

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Who will be iTnews' Retail CIO of the year?

Best consumer IT projects revealed.

If 2013 was the 'year of the cloud', there was one sector where the impact was most noticeable: retail.

All three finalists for Retail CIO of the year delivered new services at speed in 2013 thanks to the shortcuts made available by using as-a-service models.

All three have focused on giving either staff or customers a superior experience on mobile devices - a trend that we'll no doubt see adopted in other sectors in the years to come.

Please join us in congratulating:


Ajay Bhatia - carsales.com.au
Mobile platform innovation

Over a busy 2013, Ajay Bhatia's team at carsales.com.au finessed their approach to mobile development, releasing new apps on three platforms, flipping from hybrid apps to native and going to all kinds of lengths to improve customer ratings in app stores. 

The judges noted:

After several years of falling short of the experience consumers demanded on mobile devices, and upon seeing mobile app growth explode over 2012, carsales.com.au set up a permanent mobile development function inspired by 'continuous delivery' and 'DevOps'. The weight mobile now holds in carsales' revenue mix suggests CIO Ajay Bhatia got his timing right.


Viren Shah - Specialty Fashion Group
Collaboration on the cloud

Viren Shah has overseen what is perhaps the most overdue overhaul of business processes in retail - bringing Specialty Fashion Group out of the age of fax machines and paper and into the world of tablets and cloud collaboration tools.

The judges noted:

Kudos to CIO Viren Shah and project lead Glenn Ryan for the immense amount of change they have embarked upon for this multi-brand retail group.  A well-overdue and well executed project that sets Specialty Fashion Group up for far more possibilities in the future.


Damon Rees - Woolworths
Project LEAP 

Woolworths' replacement of a traditional SOE for Google Apps and ChromeOS for some 25,000 staff was a highly ambitious undertaking. The fruits of this effort will be realised over the coming years as the supermarket chain's staff are offered new and more flexible approaches to work.

The judges noted:

Few Australian organisations have rolled out such a large cloud deployment that touches the productivity of every employee. Textbook attention was paid to gaining executive sponsorship and managing change. Project success was evident in both staff productivity/satisfaction surveys and the substantial savings already being calculated from the project.


Special thanks to our sponsors: The Australian Computer Society, Dimension Data Learning Solutions and Samsung.

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