Adam Warby on the move with Claire Williams

  • Posted on March 28, 2017

Ever change the tires on a double decker London bus? Adam Warby, CEO of Avanade and Claire Williams, Deputy Principal of Williams Martini Racing discuss the need for speed

Claire Williams, Deputy Principal of Williams Martini Racing, understands first-hand the critical role that speed plays—both in world of Formula One and as a digital business.

“I’ve only worked in the sport for 15 years, but in my time in Formula One, so much has changed,” Williams told Avanade CEO Adam Warby in a recent conversation for On the Move with Adam Warby. “They’re not just race teams that we’re running anymore, they’re businesses.”

Williams used the team’s pit stop of 1.89 seconds in 2016—a record in the world of Formula One—as an example of the type of speed required in the sport and in business.

“It’s a great example of where milliseconds can help you win,” said Williams. “But it’s also an illustration of just how critical speed is as a business. We’re always looking for ways to be faster.”

But speed goes far beyond the car, Williams said. Digital technologies are integral in all aspects of the sport—whether it be designing and building the fastest car, analyzing car performance from millions of points of data, or engaging fans through a connected experience.

“You have to keep making sure that you’re at the forefront, and after all, Formula One is all about being at the forefront of technology,” she said. “If you have IT infrastructure that’s a decade out of date, how on earth do you think you’re going to win?”

As it celebrates its 40th year in Formula One, the Williams Martini Racing principal believes an integral component of its success is choosing partners who understand the importance of working at digital speed.

“It’s all about how quickly people can get things done,” she said. “We need partners who can deliver as quickly and as efficiently as we can.”

Williams, who is one of a handful of women leaders in a business dominated by men (and who in 2016 was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her contribution to the sport) believes that connectivity will continue to be important across all facets of the Williams Martini Racing business.

“We’ve got a business in which 550 people across the team must all be connected,” she said. “The data connectivity and our digital transformation has enabled us to be a much more efficient business, from car design and concept right through to the delivery of that car.”

As to the question of speed while “On the Move”—and  whether or not the pit warriors achieved a new record changing the London bus tires—you’ll just have to watch the video to find out.

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