May 17, 2020

Hudson’s Bay Company appoints new technology and digital lead

HBC
Hudson's Bay Company
Digital Transformation
Stephen Gold
Jonathan Dyble
2 min
Clothing retailer
Leading Canadian retail company Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has appointed Stephen Gold as the new Chief Technology and Digital Operations Officer at th...

Leading Canadian retail company Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has appointed Stephen Gold as the new Chief Technology and Digital Operations Officer at the firm.

In his new position, Gold will be responsible for overseeing the company’s newly formed digital team that will look to lead the firm’s digital transformation strategy across its retail banners, with a key focus on the innovative technologies and the use of data.

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“The way customers shop and engage with retailers is constantly evolving and we must have technology solutions that can deliver unique omnichannel experiences to exceed customer expectations,” said Gold.

“I am excited to join the HBC team and look forward to enhancing the Company's digital and technological capabilities to drive business performance.”

Gold will bring a variety of experience to HBC, having previously worked as both the CIO of CVS Health and the Senior Vice President and CIO of Avaya.

In addition, Gold has stood on the Board of Directors at St. John’s University for four years, whilst also acting on the Boards of a number of startups including Kazuhm and Analytics Ventures.

“Steve is a seasoned technology and digital leader, who has a deep understanding of the retail market and has a proven track record of delivering large-scale technology initiatives that positively impact business outcomes,” said Helena Foulkes, CEO of HBC.

Gold will Janet Schalk in the role who is set to leave the company on 1 August.

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Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

British Army
SAS
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”

 

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