Menu
Menu
‘The CIO holds the most strategic role in the enterprise today, with the exception of the CEO’

‘The CIO holds the most strategic role in the enterprise today, with the exception of the CEO’

The keynote speakers in this year’s CIO100 event - Carl Powell of Fletcher Building and Victor Vae’au of the New Zealand Defence Force - talk about CIOs taking the lead amidst fast-paced changes.

Carl Powell of Fletcher Building
Carl Powell of Fletcher Building
At this year’s CIO100 event, the CIOs of the two largest ICT using organisations in New Zealand – Carl Powell of Fletcher Building and Victor Vae’au of the New Zealand Defence Force – share pointers for leading through the constantly evolving business environment.

“The CIO holds the most strategic role in the enterprise today, with the exception of the CEO,” says Powell, who spoke at the Auckland event.

Focusing on the imperative of preparing for a digital future, Powell says digital technology is one of the strongest value drivers businesses have at their disposal.

Read more: Mission critical ICT in the era of digital and diverse platforms

“If you, as a CIO, are not leading digital, then you are eroding your role," he states.

If you, as a CIO, are not leading digital, then you are eroding your role.

Carl Powell, Fletcher Building

Digital roles and activities, such as the chief digital officer, shadow IT and ‘everyone’s IT will happen around you.

Read more: ‘Every business unit is now a technology start-up’: Gartner

Powell says Fletcher Building has a group chief digital officer, Henry Boyden, who reports to the CIO.

“I view the CDO as a catalyst for change role,” he states. The CDO’s role is to “champion, innovate and educate the business in the digital cause”.

At the same time, he highlights the need for CIOs to focus on the metrics that matter. While efficiency metrics such as network availability and cost per ticket are important, value metrics, such as IT expense per employee, matter more.

The CIO100 is an annual forum presenting the results of the CIO100, the annual report on the top ICT using organisations in New Zealand. The forum was also held for the first time this year in Wellington.

Read more: Primed for change

Fonterra is the biggest IT-using organisation in New Zealand in the 2015 CIO100

The CIO100 event was held for the first time in Wellington.
The CIO100 event was held for the first time in Wellington.

Victor Vae’au, CIO of the New Zealand Defence Force, was the keynote speaker in the event held in Wellington. He talked about how he and his team are on a continuous mission of managing information as a strategic aspect of the organisation, and how they are providing a modern platform to enable the Defence Force to deliver on its mission critical goals.

Read more: CIO Upfront: Is your influence tool chest missing this effective approach?

Victor Vae'au of the NZ Defence Force at the CIO100 Event in Wellington
Victor Vae'au of the NZ Defence Force at the CIO100 Event in Wellington

“We, as an organisation, understand the criticality of our information – and as we digitise, automate and reconfigure our core processes across our logistics, human resources and finance – we will start to build a valuable strategic asset we can mine to provide some good intelligence across the Defence force,” he states.

We, as an organisation, understand the criticality of our information – and as we digitise, automate and reconfigure our core processes across our logistics, human resources and finance – we will start to build a valuable strategic asset we can mine to provide some good intelligence across the Defence force.

Victor Vae’au, NZ Defence Force

At the same time, Vae'au says, the ICT team is tasked with three goals that are common to other CIOs - ICT efficiency (‘optimise ICT costs), ICT effectiveness (the right tools for the right job at the right time’) and ICT resilience and security.

The featured analyst speakers this year - Denildo Albuquerque and David Spaziani of Gartner – shared pointers for working with the board and the executive team.

Read more: Mobile app providers need to focus on retention strategies to ensure relevance in the marketplace
Denildo Albuquerque and David Spaziani of Gartner are the featured analyst speakers in the 2015 CIO100 event.
Denildo Albuquerque and David Spaziani of Gartner are the featured analyst speakers in the 2015 CIO100 event.

Albuquerque says when working with the board, the CIO needs to remember the BOARD guidelines to be: Brief, Open, Accurate, Relevant, Diplomatic.

Denildo Albuquerque
Denildo Albuquerque
Read more: The government CIO agenda: Flip from ‘legacy first’ to ‘digital first’

Albuquerque and Spaziani highlight the need to build one’s credibility in order to influence and deal with the board.

But to build credibility, these two things have to be met – understand your security strategy and architecture, and provide stable and resilient systems and structures.

“Talk less about technology and more about the business,” says Albuquerque, and what you can do to influence bottom line result.

There is no such thing as a “good surprise” when it comes to execution of major projects, says Spaziani.

Read more: ISACA: Boards and the executive team must take a leadership role in cybersecurity

They point out the quote from a chairman of the board of a retail company who said: “Our CIOs have been reluctant to tell us that they will be late to implement – until it is too late.”

John-Paul Sikking, head of security at Cisco, talked about the top trend this year –how companies are confronting the escalating security threat.

John-Paul Sikking of Cisco
John-Paul Sikking of Cisco
Read more: Movers and shakers: Claire Govier, Phil Brimacombe, Rick Gibson and Alan Grainer

He says the estimated total cost of cybercrime to the global economy last year was $455 billion. “That is more than twice New Zealand’s GDP that is lost to cybercrime.”

He shared key pointers from his work with organisations in understanding and addressing security risks, plus Cisco’s experience in securing its own network in a disruptive and transformative time.

Read more: AsureQuality moves global IT systems to the cloud

He concludes: “Security is a people, people, people; process and technology issue.”

Steve Griffin, country manager at Unisys says one question organisations can ask is whether their current security environment allows them to “fail safe”.

“Our Zero-Trust security approach makes security a deeply embedded and intrinsic part of your operations across both physical and virtual environments.”

Read more: The future of cybersecurity

His presentation details an approach towards innovation and keeping pace with change.

“We should take the heat out of failure,” he states. “Without failure, there is no innovation.”

The key, he says, is to learn quick, and fail safe without compromising mission critical systems.

Failing is only failure if you fail to learn, he states. “Let’s use ‘learn’ in place of fail.”

Read more: Movers and shakers: Jason Millett, Arian de Wit and Samantha Fitzgerald

The goal is to create a culture of ability in the organisation, he states.

He believes the next role of the CIO is “to establish an environment that enables you to capitalise on the rate of technology change”.

Steve Griffin of Unisys
Steve Griffin of Unisys
Read more: CIO Upfront: 'With agile systems, disruption can be a good thing'

The next role of the CIO is to establish an environment that enables you to capitalise on the rate of technology change.

Steve Griffin, Unisys

A panel discussion on the top business technology trends CIOs should prepare for in the next 12 months was held in both Auckland and Wellington.

In Auckland, the panellists were David Spaziani of Gartner, Orion Health CIO David Kennedy and Manukau Institute of Technology head of ICT John Holley.

Read more: Preparing for the digital economy? Think bi-modal, says Gartner
2015 CIO100 event: John Holley of the Manukau Institute of Technology at the panel discussion in Auckland.
2015 CIO100 event: John Holley of the Manukau Institute of Technology at the panel discussion in Auckland.
2015 CIO100 Event: David Kennedy of Orion Health
2015 CIO100 Event: David Kennedy of Orion Health
2015 CIO100 Event: David Spaziani of Gartner
2015 CIO100 Event: David Spaziani of Gartner

In Wellington, Spaziani and Kennedy were joined by James Walls, chief technology officer at Dimension Data.

The 2015 CIO100 event was held in Auckland and Wellington.
The 2015 CIO100 event was held in Auckland and Wellington.

This year’s CIO100 is sponsored by Cisco, Unisys and Datacom.

2015 CIO100 event: The top 10 business trends for the next 12 months
2015 CIO100 event: The top 10 business trends for the next 12 months

The 2016 CIO100 events will be held next year on March 22 in Auckland and March 23 in Wellington.

Cisco, Unisys and Datacom are the sponsors of the 2015 CIO100 events in Auckland and Wellington.
Cisco, Unisys and Datacom are the sponsors of the 2015 CIO100 events in Auckland and Wellington.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

Sign up for CIO newsletters for regular updates on CIO news, views and events.

Join us on Facebook.

Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Join the CIO New Zealand newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Carl PowellDatacomCIO100change managementSteve GriffinCIO roleJohn-Paul Sikkingcloud computingunisysDenildo Albuquerquedavid spazianiGartnersecurityciscoVictor Vae'au

More about CiscoDatacomDimension DataFacebookGartnerGriffinMITOrionOrion HealthTechnology

Show Comments