Bauer Media CIO Stuart Page explains how he has made mobility a core element of the firm’s successful business strategy
Stuart Page, Group IT director at Bauer Media, has no doubts whatsoever: mobility is absolutely crucial to the success of the multinational publishing firm.
“If we don’t make mobile work, the whole business will fail,” he says, referring to the increase in demand for mobile content created by the consumerisation of IT. “Mobility, quite simply, is the future. Everyone will be consuming content via their mobile devices.”
Page spent ten years in financial IT and moved to the media sector to broaden his experiences. After working as CIO for publisher Emap, he moved to become group IT director at Bauer Media in April 2008. Page is responsible for technology across the company’s consumer magazine and radio divisions.
“My technology strategy is the business strategy,” he says. “I look at the key trends in IT and how CIOs are told they need an approach to mobile or the cloud. At Bauer, we just have a business strategy – and that is to ensure our customers are served offline and online to the highest possible standard.”
He reports to the Bauer Media UK CEO and is a member of the executive board. The position means Page is continually plugged into business need, and other peers are able to continually call on him for his expertise.
“The role has shown me a different way of operating,” he says. “There’s a strong business focus here. CIOs sometimes struggle to create the link between technology and business. But alignment really is the key at Bauer.”
Page says he has steered his firm through the first stage of mobile development, where the organisation has to play catch up with the devices its customers use to access content. He is now moving through a later stage of mobile development, where mobile use is demand-led and embedded into the business strategy.
There are two sides to making mobile work on behalf of the organisation, says Page. The first side is about external interaction. “It’s all about working out how we get our content on to multiple platforms, and then how we can get our customers to pay for what we provide,” he says.
The second side of successful mobility focuses on internal users. Page says Bauer requires a strategy that allows employees to use the mobile devices that consumers are buying, such as iPad. Page also has to develop the platforms to help workers innovate, while providing a simple but effective layer of security and governance. His approach to consumer IT at Bauer is straightforward.
“We’ve just gone for it,” he says. “We’ve actively encouraged access, with strict guidelines around data use and loose principles around devices. Our workforce is creative; you have to trust our employees. Our entrepreneurial staff get what they need and mobility is now just natural at Bauer.”
Page has implemented the systems and software that allows employees to use whatever portable devices they own. Employees log in securely and are given access to a series of software tools. Page has segmented the user base, ensuring different types of mobile workers have access to the right kinds of apps.
“If we need to do something, we have an enforceable policy,” he says. “Most people now have better access to technology at home than they would in the office. As a CIO, you have to look for economies of scale and try and standardise your services as much as possible.”
Page has called on Jigsaw24 to help create a platform for new approaches to IT procurement. Bauer buys all its iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air equipment through Jigsaw24. The media firm is also exploring the potential for leasing schemes that would allow employees to purchase iPads through an automatic wage deduction.
“Jigsaw24 is one of our most important service providers,” says Page. “They have always delivered and, in the rare event that anything unexpected happens, they communicate what is happening very clearly. They have a great management team in place that ensures everything works really well.”
Stuart Page has been Group IT Director at Bauer Media for the last four years. Prior to this, he spent five years at Emap PLC where he was responsible for all technology strategy and delivery across Emap consumer, B2B and Radio Divisions.
To find out more about Stuart’s approach to mobility, take a look at his Best Practice Tips here, or for more information on how we can help your business go portable and get productive, get in touch with us on 03332 409 219 or email business@Jigsaw24.com.