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April 30, 2020

Cloud the Enabler in Coronavirus Response for Sainsbury’s CIO Phil Jordan

"Some of these decisions that would have taken a year of discussion and business cases have just been done in a heartbeat"

By CBR Staff Writer

Sainsbury’s CIO Phil Jordan believes cloud technology has been the critical enabler to pivot the business from physical to online as part of its response to restrictions brought about by Covid-19.​

Group Chief Information Officer at the FTSE 100 retailer since January 2018 having joined from global telco and media giant Telefonica, Jordan described how its digital transformation agenda had helped Sainsbury’s scale up its operations and manage tough trading conditions.​

Jordan was speaking at NS Media Group’s Virtual CIO Symposium, a collaboration between Computer Business Review (CBR) and NS Tech, discussing business continuity and the technology response to coronavirus.​

“Technology has been a huge enabler of scaling our business and pivoting our business from physical to online,” Jordan told NS Media Group Technology Editor Edward Qualtrough.​

“Not only have we dealt with repeated peak day after day without really planning for it, we’ve also been incredibly adaptive in turning our business to suit the times.​​

In particular, Jordan said that becoming cloud-first had provided the platform for its business operations and new operating cadence.​

“It’s been an absolute proof-point of cloud,” he said. “Our e-commerce and collaboration tools – whether customer or colleague – are all running in the cloud. If we had to do that in the old world by procuring our own infrastructure we wouldn’t have been able to react.​ We’re 50 percent more online orders and twice as many click-and-collects as we were four weeks ago.​

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“And some of these decisions that would have taken a year of discussion and business cases have just been done in a heartbeat​.​

“There’s no doubt we’ve benefitted from being a cloud-based and a cloud-first business.​​

“The work we’ve done over the past two years has really paid dividends – our stores really stood up brilliantly as participation in digital in the store has gone through the roof.​”​

You can view the full interview with Sainsbury’s CIO Phil Jordan on-demand at the Virtual CIO Symposium portal.

See also: Microsoft Admits Supply Chain Issues Left Azure Feeling the Squeeze

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