House of Fraser has reintroduced the role of IT director as part of a drive to improve customer service.

After a period of store expansion, the department store chain is now turning its attention to service to help combat the recession.

Duncan Gray, who previously ran IT services for the retailer, has been promoted to IT director, reporting to chief financial officer Mark Gifford.

The move follows a review of the business’s IT needs, which has seen the IT department reorganised with no redundancies.

Gray now has four senior IT staff members reporting to him and each is responsible for one of the four key areas: software development and support, business-to-business relationships, data centre management and the retailer’s service desk.

He said that with the business focusing on “good old customer service” the IT department would seek to maximise the investment already made in its core systems.

Gray has previously worked within the IT departments at Whitbread and Rank Group, and said that his hospitality experience means he is committed to focusing on the delivery of customer service.

He said the department is in the process of improving accountability and transparency within the business; for instance, moving from technology-focused key performance indicators to business-focused ones.

A service delivery project and the introduction of a customised version of the Prince2 project management methodology will allow the department to work more closely with the rest of the business.

Gray said he is aiming to have the changes bedded in prior to House of Fraser’s peak trading period.