At CPA Global IGNITE! 2017, our software customer conference, Phil Fearnley, our new Chief Technology Officer will discuss his ambitions in this new role, and what he has delivered in his first 150 days. We caught up with Phil to ask him some questions about his career, and his first priorities.

1. Your most recent role before joining CPA Global was with the BBC. What did it involve?

I was Digital Director at the BBC. The BBC is a licence fee funded broadcasting corporation, based in the UK, but has operations around the globe. The growth of the internet provided a platform for the BBC to develop more global propositions, and digital was a key element of the corporation’s strategy.

I had the privilege of overseeing some of the most innovative and complex digital transformation projects for the corporation. Among these I led the development of the BBC iPlayer, the BBC News app, and had responsibility for the BBC’s digital coverage of the London Olympics in 2012. At the event, every athlete had their own unique page on the BBC’s site with constantly updated data on their performance. This provided a new way to use data in real time to deliver insight to people following the games.

2. Having worked extensively in digital platforms for a broadcaster, what attracted you to the role at CPA Global?

As I mentioned above, it is now possible to use data to deliver information and insight far more effectively than ever before. This is enabling new ways to visualise and share information, offering vastly improved levels of data insight.

I firmly believe in the transformative potential of data to the IP industry. Let’s face it, the vast majority of the value of corporations relates to the intellectual property they own. I was impressed by CPA Global’s vision to deliver one platform that enables data to be managed more effectively and deliver clear insight to help solve business challenges. I spent some time with our CEO, Simon Webster, and he convinced me that the IP industry was ripe for the kind of digital transformation that we were working on at the BBC.

3. What do you see as the key trends in delivering effective technology solutions?

We have to ensure we treat every technology user to an experience that is as simple and intuitive as possible. Smartphones are now ubiquitous and the best apps are the ones that are most simple to use. People using technology in a business are no different to consumers; they are the same people and they deserve experiences that are simple and effective. 

4. What are the priorities in your new role?

In the short term, I am looking forward to creating a culture of integration to drive innovation and deliver more effective products for our customers. In the longer term, I want to deliver innovation that enables any business to generate critical insight from IP data and, ultimately, drive business growth.

Phil is presenting at CPA GLOBAL IGNITE! 2017 on Monday, 9 October. Not going to be there? Find out more about the event here.