Fonterra (MIS100 2012)

Fonterra (MIS100 2012)

2011 ranking: 3

Senior IS executive: Chris Barendregt, CIO

Address: Level 8, 41 Shortland Street, Auckland


Dairy giant Fonterra is busy building an IS platform across its global businesses that “removes technology risks and constraints from the landscape, and then leverages that to optimise value, and improve and support business insights and innovations”, says CIO Chris Barendregt. In particular this year, Fonterra is rolling out an SAP ERP system across its New Zealand and Australia brands business, a project that is expected to be completed by mid-2013.

ICT projects and staff numbers are expected to remain flat this year, though budgets are up by around 5 percent. Significant technology investment will continue to take place in ERP, business intelligence, CRM, information management, server and desktop virtualisation, and business continuity/disaster recovery. New plans for 2012 include cloud computing, unified communications (including cellular VoIP and PABX replacement) and FMIS. Fonterra IS is now investigating the use of enterprise social technologies and social networking tools, such as SharePoint 2010 Social Sites and NetGator, to improve collaboration across Fonterra. Mobility is also an area of focus for Fonterra to enable wider enterprise use of mobility through mobile device management, the introduction of a cross-platform mobile development platform, and tablet computing. In New Zealand, another key piece of IT work is the Fonterra Trade and Operations Value Stream Optimisation programme. This programme will enhance revenue and remove waste in Fonterra’s value chain by connecting people, simplifying processes and enabling functionality in SAP. Changes and improvements implemented under the programme will ensure that business decisions across planning, sales optimisation and order fulfilment are based on real-time, reliable and easily accessible information. Additionally, master data management, quality management, enhancements to video conferencing and a sales CRM installation are all set to take place in 2012 as high priorities. Fonterra staff numbers total over 16,000 across 195 locations around the world. Barendregt says he is now witnessing a lack of availability of IT resources with the skills Fonterra needs in Australia and New Zealand, where the largest IT teams reside. Another present challenge for the organisation is securing the IS landscape against logical attacks, as trends show this is becoming more important. Alignment to Fonterra strategy — doing the few critical things well, getting the right governance attention and maintaining IP internally — is expected to impact IT projects. Barendregt also intends to focus on enterprise governance to “ensure we are making the right investment decisions that generate the business returns and to address the right risks”, as well as explore the impact of cloud computing on the traditional IS services model and how Fonterra can evolve to deal with this area now that it is becoming a more viable way to deliver solutions.

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