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News International CIO aims to be multimedia giant in the cloud

Edward Qualtrough | May 23, 2013
Chris Taylor discusses agility, mobility and why the cloud is key to transforming a modern business

"And the one thing I really want to crack is digital advertising on tablet and smartphone products. Problems like how do you serve an interactive package when someone might be on the underground for 30 minutes and completely unable to download a video ad?"

As well as being impressed with News International's attitude towards technology before joining the organisation, he gave the impression of not having been let down in the slightest. He meets several times a week with CEO Mike Darcey, and with the board once a week to formally discuss business decisions.

While Taylor is scheduled to have one-on-one meetings with Darcey twice weekly, he said that these are invariably re-arranged because they have so much proximity as it is, while he also chairs News International's monthly digital review.

When we met at the end of April, Taylor also said that he'd been with News Corporation founder, chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch just a few weeks previously. "He's a very actively-engaged in technology, a very hands-on guy and even hosts a News Corp tech summit with vendors," Taylor said of the 82-year-old media mogul.

"At other companies tech was less important," he said. "I was CIO at Emap, a B2B media company, where I reported to the CFO and technology at the company was entirely cost led. But the nature of the company was to cut costs, so technology had to fit that mould.

"Here I feel that to lead a technology organisation with a seat at the board, you need to earn your seat there every day.

"First you have to make sure the core technology of the organisation is solid and performing, and then focus on transformation -- making sure you are going after the big projects.

"And being a CIO is also about brokering relationships with different arms of the organisation, it's an exercise in diplomacy making sure that editorial, sales and marketing, commercial and technology departments are all in line."


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