healthAlliance gets the top rank in CIO100, the annual report on the biggest ICT using organisations in New Zealand. It is the third time healthAlliance topped the list, which ranks organisations by screen numbers (50 percent) and staff numbers and turnover (25 percent each). Speaking at the CIO100 event presenting the results of this year’s survey, Johan Vendrig, healthAlliance general manager information services, says three years ago the organisation doubled its size, and it will be doubling it again as it will take over supply chain, procurement and finance services for the other district health boards. “The theme that I heard is change,” says Vendrig, referring to the presentations of the earlier speakers. “Change is everlasting and we should plan things all the time, healthAlliance is a good example of that,” says Vendrig.
Vendrig says the organisation has a very capable team and is investing “in resilience training to keep up with the challenges we are facing”.
“We have invested significantly in resilience in our systems to support those large scale operations that will be up and running,” he adds.
Dave Wilson, regional sales manager at Cisco, meanwhile, tackles the general challenges CIOs face, and how they can build on the move towards ‘internet of everything’.
“The job of the CIO has never been more difficult. The complexity of decisions you are all making daily about new technologies are not getting any easier as we all respond to economic conditions, the strategic demands of the business, as well as fundamental changes in how our workforce is choosing to engage,” says Wilson.
He focused on the move towards the “internet of everything” or IoE and the prediction that by 2020, there will be up to 50 billion connected devices in the planet, more than the population.
He says it is important for enterprises to understand the value from IoE lies in the increased power of the connections.
“IoE reflects the reality that business value creation has shifted to the power of connections and, more specifically, to the ability to create intelligence from those connections. Companies can no longer rely solely on internal core competencies and the knowledge of their employees; instead, they need to capture intelligence faster, from many external sources,” says Wilson.
Winning in the digital world This year’s analyst speaker, Dr Marcus Blosch, a vice president of research at Gartner, says CIOs need to be proactive, by having a good understanding of the business and the business outcomes, and then “going out in front” on what to do with technology. “Go to the executive [team] and say, these are the outcomes you want to drive.” The CIO role is changing dramatically, he states, "the role is to help in business transformation, not just run IT." “IT must go beyond its current focus on tending to current operations and systems — to adopting new behaviours, so that it can hunt for new digital innovations and opportunities, and harvest raised business performance from products, services and operations. CIOs who merely stick to their current job in this quiet crisis are setting themselves up to lose that job in the future.” Tending, hunting and harvesting represent an expansion of the roles CIOs and IT organisations will play in the digital world, he points out. There are three roles the IT organisation can play and they should not restrict themselves to one role. “CIOs should recognise IT's role in each situation and adapt the organisation, skills and resources to respond to the role's business requirements.” The first is tending: Managing IT's current operational and investment responsibilities within existing constraints, where IT needs stability, cost management and quality of service. The second is hunting: This occurs in situations where IT needs to be out in front — scouting and finding innovations and opportunities beyond enterprise boundaries. Blosch says some hunting projects will fail, but each helps the enterprise learn about digital technologies and value. "The result is an accelerating rate of performance as new technology and business innovations take the enterprise beyond current operations." The third is harvesting: This occurs where IT needs to raise business performance, he says, "by actively changing business processes, extending products and services, and replicating best practices. Unlike tending, harvesting transforms IT infrastructure, operations and applications to produce additional results." Blosch says the CIO agenda this year focuses on recognising these challenges and developing plans to "win in a digital world". He concludes: “IT is not going away; it just needs to change — not because it is wrong, but because the world has changed and yet enterprises are realising only a fraction of technology's potential." Leading from the front Craig Sims, chief operating officer of ANZ Bank, also points to the role played by IT in the bank’s “Simplification programme” which combined ANZ Bank and National Bank. The role of IT is “transformational” in the organisation, says Sims. The CIO role is that of a business person, he says, and harnessing technology to reduce cost and create a better customer experience. He shared some lessons from the recent integration of the two banking systems, and top of these is making the scope of the programme “as tight as possible”. Related: No small change Craig Sims outlines the key factors for successful transformation programmes, drawing on lessons learned from the recent systems integration at ANZ and National Bank. “Integration can be so large, it is hard to pin down what success looks like,” he says, “really have a hard debate on the scope of the programme.” Have a strong focus on governance “unashamedly”, he says. Sims said he had played rugby “seriously” in his younger years, and applies lessons on “leading from the front” in sports, to technology. “From a rugby point of view, you want to be the best in your position, you want to trust your mates and you want to support your mates,” he says, and this also applies to the IT world. “The business community wants us to be the best in our position in terms of delivering IT and operation capabilities. They expect us to support them and they expect us to just get things done.” Cisco and Samsung sponsored the CIO100 2013 Event in Auckland.
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