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Darryl Thwaits, group CIO, Tiger Brands

Darryl Thwaits is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining the strategic IT plans for Tiger Brands and for providing effective IT services to the group's multiple divisions. This includes supporting around 4 000 users located at more than 120 sites across South Africa and parts of Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Darryl has been with Tiger Brands since 1994 in a number of executive roles. He has held his current role as group CIO since 2005. Prior to joining Tiger Brands, Thwaits was MD of the St Thomas Group, and the financial director for Tongaat Foods. Tiger Brands' IT is heavily outsourced and the 42-strong permanent team consists primarily of management and application specialists, supported by around 150 full-time outsourced equivalents. Darryl manages a diverse team of technical and application staff. He has a chief technical officer, chief applications officer, chief governance officer and a financial manager reporting to him. Together they are responsible for internal SLAs, project implementation and the management of third-party contracts. At any point in time, this means working with 16 different outsourcing companies.

Darryl believes that the massive growth in mobile technology, with smartphone integration with major applications enabling a lot more 'business on the move', will increase productivity, reduce costs and provide a competitive edge. The company has also demonstrated its confidence in the application of virtualisation, having already virtualised applications and its ERP systems-sharing hardware, providing an enterprise cloud. He views ubiquitous computing and connecting to any device as another major wave in IT. Devices and social media are changing the world, and Darryl believes entities need to be agile and able to adapt to this fast-changing landscape.

Darryl Thwaits



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