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New Zealand Defence Force seeks new CIO

New Zealand Defence Force seeks new CIO

Victor Vae’au departs after nearly six years, and CIO role is changed to Chief, Communications and Information Services

Victor Vae'au

Victor Vae'au

The New Zealand Defence Force is like a country in many aspects. Every line of business is there.

Victor Vae'au

Victor Vae’au has left his CIO post at the New Zealand Defence Force after nearly six years.

Vae’au presided over significant transformation of the ICT capability within Defence.

Defence went through implementing a remediation response to the 2010 policy direction on its ICT, including the opportunity to modernise its systems and services.

The programme replacing and consolidating its capabilities into industry-provisioned datacentres, deploying thin client technologies and removal of Windows XP.

Defence also completed its implementation of the SAP Human Capital Module (HCM) centralising and automating its payroll and recently completed the implementation of a completely new system to support the Veterans Affairs organisation.

Current priorities includes the development of its secure network that has the potential to be a common capability for government.

Colonel Paul Dragicevich, Director ICT Operations, is acting CIO.

Defence, meanwhile, is seeking a replacement, but renamed the role to Chief, Communications & Information Services (CCIS).

According to the advertisement for the role, the Defence is looking for an experienced leader to guide a large and complex ICT function through a period of significant change.

The role will be an experienced CIO with the ability to communicate complex information at the appropriate level of detail to facilitate executive decision-making, and be able to think and act strategically.

As well, the candidate must be commercially astute with the ability to negotiate and manage partnerships with external organisations.

Defence was number 9 in the 2016 CIO100, the annual report on the top ICT using organisationsin New Zealand. According to the report, the ICT team numbers 300 and manages 17,450 screens, working on national and international projects.

In an earlier interview, Vae’au summed how he saw the role and his experience there:

“The New Zealand Defence Force is like a country in many aspects. Every line of business is there. We have our own transport industry, logistics, airplanes, hotels, and hospitals – the whole lot. And all of those come with systems and people to operate these.”

'It is important not to be distracted by the fad of the day, and forgetting what is important for your business.' - Victor Vae'au at the 2015 CIO100 event in Wellington.
'It is important not to be distracted by the fad of the day, and forgetting what is important for your business.' - Victor Vae'au at the 2015 CIO100 event in Wellington.

NZ Defence Force CIOs through the years:

Ron Hooton: Chief visionary

Hooton is now based in Melbourne as CEO at Vision Australia. He was also one of the CIOs featured in a special report on ICT leadership.

Ron Hooton
Ron Hooton
Read more: CIO to CEO: Career advice from Rob Fyfe

Derek Locke: Mission: Critical

Locke says the challenges of meeting the demands of a peacetime environment with critical overseas missions mean he has the best CIO job in New Zealand.

Peter Thomas: Building great teams

Like Vae’au, Thomas came from the finance sector before moving to Defence. From “making money… to protecting New Zealanders,” is how he described his career swerve.

Peter Thomas
Peter Thomas


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Tags finance sectorCIOnew zealand defence forcefuji xeroxcio careercustomer focusColonel Paul Dragicevichcio to ceoDXPeter ThomasVictor Vae'auWestpacRon HootonDerek LockeleadershipCIO100digital transformationchief operations officerstrategyvision australiacx

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