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Graeme Muller sets agenda for the NZ technology sector

Graeme Muller sets agenda for the NZ technology sector

The NZTech CEO is tapping his global experience to provide a strong voice for the industry.

NZTech CEO Graeme Muller is tapping his global experience in building a strong voice for the local information technology industry.

“There are different activities and organisations that could be relevant to our market,” says Muller.

The markets which have a strong voice, he says, will have groups that stimulate and support the other organisations that have more niche focuses, and not by “stamping everyone else”.

Muller joined NZTech over a month ago. Before this, he was managing partner of Ecosystm Advisory, a New Zealand-focused tech industry market analyst firm, and with IDC in Europe and the Pacific region.

We need critical mass and to develop sustained collaboration with government and other parts of the economy.

Graeme Muller, NZTech

He is the third CEO at NZTech, which was was established as NZICT six years ago. He replaced Candace Kinser who is now NZ lead for Palantir. Its inaugural CEO was Brett O’Riley, now CEO at Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED).

Read more: This CEO role is equivalent to getting an MBA on the job: NZTech chair

“Let us not reinvent the wheel,” says Muller. “How can we collaborate with others to accelerate and enhance what they are doing?”

He says one of the things he is going to push early this year is around strategy and vision from a technology level.

“What I am going to try and proactively drive is engagement with senior stakeholders from industry, government and the users of technology to encourage the government to develop a national technology strategy,” he tells CIO New Zealand.

“If we can have a strong vision, we can start identifying what are some of the big things technology can help with,” he states. “These could be around health, education, social policy, the way technology is procured."

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A CTO for NZ

He says "it makes sense" to have a chief technology officer for New Zealand who will have oversight of this strategy.

Read more: NZ ICT Predictions 2015: Success hinges on transition to become a technology focused organisation

We can start identifying what are some of the big things technology can help with. These could be around health, education, social policy, the way technology is procured.

“Other economies doing well have some role like that in place,” he states.

But the first point is to have a clear working strategy around information technology.

Read more: CIOs: Give priority to technologies to keep up with – or surpass – your competitors, reports Forrester

“Technology is embedded in every single industry," he states. “It is a huge accelerator for the economy if you have got someone on top of the strategy and opportunity side”, as distinguished from the delivery side.

“The first place is to start to bring the stakeholders together, to get the leaders in New Zealand to come together and start debating the pros and cons, identifying what is the most important thing from a strategic perspective.

“We need critical mass and to develop sustained collaboration with government and other parts of the economy.

“It will be around collaboration openly and in partnership with a number of stakeholders to design a program of impacts that represents outstanding business cases, in terms of accelerating the economic and social advance of New Zealand, enabled by technology.”

Read more: From anthropology to information technology

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