As part of its five-year transformation plan, Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced a new Technology Transformation Programme that will enable it to become a digital-first business and deliver an improvement in customer experience.
It is designed to create a more agile, faster and commercial technology function that will work with the business to deliver growth. The retailer said changes are being made to deliver technology that brings real value, at pace, to its business and customers:
- The creation of a new Technology Operating Model, which will drive significant efficiencies in how M&S exploits new technology, including the adoption of industry agile methods, effective from 1st March 2018.
- The appointment of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) – one of the world’s leading technology companies – as M&S’s principal technology partner.
- A simplification and consolidation of M&S’s technology supplier base. Core supplier services will transfer directly to TCS and the day-to-day relationship and project management of specialist suppliers will move under the control of TCS.
The Technology Transformation Programme will deliver annual efficiencies of approximately £30 million (US$41 million) by 2021/22, according to the company, and drive clearer accountabilities and a more customer centric approach to technology services. There is a one-off cost to implement of about £25 million.
M&S CEO Steve Rowe said: “We are committed to transforming M&S for our colleagues, customers and shareholders by delivering digital-first retailing across our stores and offices. Technology plays a huge role in this transformation – and having the right partners and model will enable us to be more agile, flexible and responsive. Through our Technology Transformation Programme our business will be faster, simpler and more focused on achieving a seamless customer experience.”
As a result of the new Technology Operating Model, around 250 existing M&S Technology roles will transfer under TUPE [Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)] Regulations to become TCS roles. M&S said it will retain a smaller, more technical and commercially focused team that will lead and drive technology to support the business.