Julian is a digital and business transformation expert ranked in the CIO Top 40 by Computing in 2018. He is VP & Executive Partner for IBM's business in the UK Distribution Sector covering Retail, Consumer Products, Travel & Transport, a move from his role on the Board at House of Fraser where he was CIO and Executive Director of Supply Chain & Transformation. He designed and led the first major phase of their transformation journey to create House of Fraser's award winning multi-channel customer experience, ranked in the Leader's group in Europe by the independent IREUTop500 annual index in 2017. Julian was the first CTO of John Lewis and of Sainsbury's where in both he founded and led digital and technology transformation programmes to deliver step changes in customer experience and profitability performance. He is an advisor to the UK fashion retail industry on digital supply chain strategies through his role on the GS1 Apparel Board and supports various not-for-profit organisations targeting the needs of disabled people in the workplace through accessible technologies.
We caught up with Julian and asked him a few questions...
· What gets you out of bed in the morning? a sometimes annoying but rather unstoppable desire to get going every day. As soon as the sun is up so am I, which makes for some very short sleeps in the summer months!
· What do you think the next big thing in tech is? I'm never convinced by individual tech and prefer to think about the power of combining things. In our industry, I'm pretty convinced that a combination of Blockchain, IoT and Artificial Intelligence will drive a very significant revolution in supply chain transparency and efficiency and that will be game changing for organisations and consumers alike. It could be exactly what the industry needs to respond to the considerable forces acting against sustainable profitability right now.
· Who would your dream dinner party guest be? From a business perspective I'd love to have dinner with Ratan Tata, arguably the world's greatest industrialist. From a personal perspective I would have loved to have met Robin Williams, the comedian and actor.