CIO Series: Jeremy Vincent, Jaguar Land Rover

Jeremy Vincent tells us how he went from Navy engineer to luxury car CIO.

Describe your role in three words.

Leadership and driving change.

How did you get to where you are today?

I was an engineering officer in Navy. I have degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering [and] I then went on to do an MBA. I started out as an operations manager in production for various companies until eventually reaching a board level position.

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What's the biggest challenge of being a modern-day CIO/CEO?

There are two challenges. One is to continually demonstrate to business leaders that I'm more than just head of IT. Many of my peers still have a old-fashioned view of what the role entails. I see my job as understanding goals and objectives and how technology can solve these business issues.

The second part of the role is managing the performance of people. There's a dearth of high-quality, business-savvy IT people and a dearth of IT-savvy business people. As globalisation continues apace, we're doing more complex things and, at the same time, we're no longer competing with traditional competitors just take a look at how India and China are progressing.

Times are changing and we have to think longer term and think globally. At the same time, we have to think quicker and become more savvy.

Increasingly, I find, it's the second part of the role that dominates. From my point of view, I hope that I can influence and change the perception of what a modern CIO is. We're moving away from an old-fashioned view of a CIO that of someone who deploys technology

Times are changing and we have to think longer term and think globally

I think it's always been the case that the primary role of a CIO has always been seen as that of an IT person, someone there to deploy technologies but less capable of meeting the business challenges.

I'd like to show that CIOs are more than capable of meeting these challenges. That fits in with changes in technology, which is much more plug-and-play these days. Previously, we required more customisation and skill.

That's influenced the way we work too. Look at the rise in 3G signal strength that's why a lot of us work remotely from iPhones and iPads.

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