Grant Strang has taken up a position as CIO with the NZ Racing Board. Strang's previous roles have included senior ICT positions with Genesis Energy and TrustPower and most recently senior executive roles at Dunedin City Council.
But he disagrees with the view that the Racing Board position marks a major new direction in his career, ICT is a generic skill, he says. In particular, “ICT in local government involves some of the most complex software and infrastructure in the country,” and the skills he used in this direction will be very relevant in the overhaul he plans at the Racing Board.
“The Board is looking for someone to reset the organisation,” he says. This will involve replacing crucial applications such as its Jetbet telephone-betting system, a bespoke piece of software that is proving hard to keep up to date. Software like this has a use-by date; it often develops “single-point dependencies”, Strang says, where the people with best knowledge and experience to support and enhance it competently have moved on.
His work will include replacing Jetbet and other parts of the Racing Board system with stable alternatives more relevant to today’s market and modernising the Board’s ICT infrastructure. His experience includes not only ICT but roles in customer service and retail operations. He expects this to be reflected in a closer connection of the Racing Board’s ICT with its customers.
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