BT this week let loose a team of chief information officers (CIOs) who will bring the service provider's internal lessons learned (plus knowledge of its products and services) to enterprise and government customers.
This step underscores the value CSPs and their business customers recognize from combining the expertise of their technology and telecom professionals with the needs of their clients, a trend rapidly gaining traction across some cable operators and CSPs. (See Mr. CTO, Tear Down That Wall.)
After all, if BT, AT&T, Comcast and other industry leaders are successfully navigating virtualization, software-defined networks, cloud and security, so leaders of these internal initiatives are well placed to aid enterprise deployments, regardless of vertical or ultimate digitalization result.
"We have a wealth of technical expertise within BT, developed over years of working with customers across all industries," said Philip Baulch, CIO Major Corporate & Public Sector at BT in a statement. "With the decentralization of IT spending and ownership, the new roles will focus on specific public sector verticals, as well as major corporate customers, to ensure that our customers continue to view BT as a trusted advisor and technology partner. This new approach is already bearing fruit, with significant positive feedback from our customers over the past few months."
Baulch is leading the CIO team, which also includes a "number of CIO industry leads" who focus on specific markets such as central government, defense and corporate, as well as geographically dispersed IT leaders. BT is hiring a chief technology officer and chief operations officer to support complex deals and development of appropriate proposals, the CSP said. In addition, the provider plans to hire six new executives to address specific UK regions including Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Southwest, London and the Southeast, the Midlands and Northern England.
Multiple CIOs are not new to BT. A quick skim through LinkedIn uncovers a CIO for connected home at BT Consumer, another for BT Global Services and one for Defense Futures -- with several others, to boot. If these CIOs fulfill both the traditional technology leadership role of determining an organization's tech and infrastructure direction, and a smaller, core group partners with customers to define their current and future needs and solutions, then both BT and their clients will benefit.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.