IT director of John Lewis, Paul Coby, has been promoted to CIO of the John Lewis Partnership, meaning he will also oversee the IT at Waitrose.

Coby, who has worked for John Lewis for five and a half years, will oversee IT operations, including warehousing, logistics, supply chain and online, for both John Lewis and Waitrose, as well as the Partnership's broadband and insurance operations. 

Coby will also be responsible for creating common standards within IT teams across the entire company.

Head of IT at the John Lewis Partnership is a newly created role and the retailer intends to appoint a new John Lewis IT director shortly. Both CIOs at John Lewis and Waitrose will work with Coby to co-ordinate and support IT across the Partnership. 

John Lewis told Essential Retail IT is fundamental to the retailer's success. According to John Lewis, the new role demonstrates the retailer's ongoing investment in IT which will play a key role in delivering future business plans.

During his time as John Lewis CIO, Coby has championed the retailer's JLab start-up incubator. The scheme, which recently announced its 2016 finalists, has been applauded by the industry as a way for retailers to access new innovations and agile technologies.

At the beginning of 2015, the retailer tested a new click & collect service, run through a system provided by Localz, the recent winner of the retailer's 2014 JLAB competition.

Ultimately, John Lewis trialled the technology as it looked to boost customer convenience and ensure its online operations are as closely aligned to its store processes as possible. While the retailer was at the forefront of click & collect in the UK, it was also one of the first to begin charging for the service last year. In an industry-first, John Lewis now charges £2 for orders under £30 to help ease the burden of small, inexpensive orders which still need to be dispatched from the retailer's warehouse at a cost.