Reuters charges on with IT cost-cutting drive

Hardware consolidation and virtualisation on the agenda, says CIO
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Hardware consolidation and virtualisation on the agenda, says CIO

Reuters is continuing its drive to cut IT costs by consolidating its global hardware infrastructure and using more virtualisation and remote management technologies.

IT standardisation and cost-cutting has already played a key role in Reuters' three-year transformation programme called Fast Forward, which is well on track to achieve £440m in annualised cost savings by the end of this year.

In the latest silicon.com CIO Visions video interview series Reuters CIO David Lister said: "It was essentially about saving the business and we put in an enormous amount of effort into simplifying, rationalising, restructuring our business - essentially saving costs."

On the IT side that has already meant moving to single global versions of Oracle's financial and Siebel's CRM and customer service systems.

Lister said Reuters' global infrastructure is still run largely on a local office basis and that the next step will be to apply the same cost-cutting and consolidation process to hardware.

He said: "I think we're in a position now where we can start to apply a hardware rationalisation, consolidation. We can start to bring the benefits of virtualisation and operational automation, where we can bring remote management and far higher degrees of standardisation to our infrastructure to really make some quite dramatic changes."

The company will also now "stand back" and look at the role outsourcing and key suppliers will play in the future development of Reuters IT infrastructure.

Lister said: "There's no doubt that we need to move to fewer, more strategic relationships. There's also no doubt that those relationships have to be based on getting to a very clear endpoint, not running what we have today but basically helping us get to the capabilities, the processes, the technologies, the innovation that we need to have over the next four to seven years."

The wider vision is to build an infrastructure that supports products with open standards and interfaces that allow Reuters' financial services customers to more easily connect into various data feeds.

Lister said: "I think other things around innovations such as algorithmic trading - such as machine-readable news - can only really be deployed if you deliver them through open standards and actually let our customers really exploit those through their systems."

Lister also said CIOs increasingly need to focus on how they can help their businesses grow and not just look at cutting costs and being more efficient.

He said: "The difference between the traditional IT director and the CIO focus is that CIOs should be focused on growing, innovating, enabling, helping the business exploit opportunities as they come forward. To do that you have to be very focused, not on the IT agenda but the business agenda - making sure that the business strategies and plans are both fully informed by the potential of IT."

Click here to watch the full video interview with Reuters CIO David Lister.

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