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Shell Downstream CIO – “We should be scared”

 

The threat

Walker very frankly admitted that Shell “should be scared” during our discussion, where he said that one of his biggest fears is having to go and tell his director that he’d lost a billion dollar business because he didn’t foresee a new business model for Shell, enabled by new technologies.

He said:

That’s not solely my fault, but I think as their CIO, my job is to have some future vision. And you look at what other companies are doing and how easily I could be taken out.”

You only have to think about your own life and how things work, right? If it’s easier to go order what you want here or get it through this route, you will do it. And actually, you probably don’t care if it costs five cents more, or five cents less, you just don’t have the time to piss around on a site that doesn’t take your credit card properly, doesn’t seem to know who you are, and just seems a pain to get around.

I think part of my role as a CIO, is how do I use all of this great technology, not only to understand you better, and that’s one side of all of this, but ultimately, through that, make your desire to come to me, or drive an extra mile to come to me, rather than stop at this service station, a more enjoyable experience.

Make it easy, make it surprising, make it something the customer’s not expecting. But that’s my retail business. Then you think of all my other businesses and look at the potential disruptions there – because you can bet your bottom dollar I know where the money’s made on that value chain. So do 20 million other people out there, who are going, “All right, Shell are slow. Shell will struggle to disrupt themselves.” I’m gonna take that bit away from them.

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