Business Information Systems

Second edition

by Paul Beynon-Davies
Katherine Coombs
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Katherine Coombs

Chief Information Officer, Proxima

Katherine Coombs is the global Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Proxima, a leading pure-play outsourcer and provider of procurement services. Coombs is a Board-level executive with dual responsibility for both client-facing ICT solutions and internal ICT operations, spanning Europe and the US.

Coombs holds a degree in computer science and numerous technical certifications. Her ICT career spans more than 10 years and covers a diverse range of sectors, from finance and government to services and retail. An Australian national, Coombs worked internationally as an ICT consultant specialising in large-scale infrastructure programmes for clients such as Virgin Atlantic, HMRC, and Standard Chartered Bank. Relocating to the UK in 2005, Coombs joined Lloyds TSB as senior manager of its ICT innovation and research team in 2007. Coombs delivered a £50M IT-led innovation pipeline exploiting new revenue streams or reducing costs before being appointed as CIO of the Savings division when Lloyds TSB acquired HBOS, forming the UK’s largest bank, Lloyds Banking Group.
Having watched the video, think about how you would answer the questions below. You might find it helpful to refer back to page 338 (Chapter 11) of the book.
  • There is a gender imbalance in people opting for a career in informatics. More male than female students take secondary, tertiary and higher-level courses with an ICT component. Why do you think this is, and how would you begin to address this imbalance?
  • Do you think that it is important for a CIO to be a member of the executive board of the company? Why?