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MIS100 2011: Change and continuity

MIS100 2011: Change and continuity

Mergers and acquisitions coupled with restructuring across the public and private sectors, resulted in a decidedly different list of organisations in this year’s MIS100.

How this country’s top IT-using organisations are managing constant, unrelenting change is the dominant theme in this year’s MIS100 report. ICT teams are working on a number of projects put on hold during the economic slowdown, but with static or minimum increases in budgets and the same or fewer staff. Mergers across both public and private sectors and executive appointments led to organisational restructuring, followed by new appointments, reporting lines and responsibilities for CIOs and their teams. Consumer and cloud-based technologies are entrenching themselves in the workplace, along with the rise of a more tech savvy staff. All these factors have resulted in a decidedly different list of organisations in this year’s MIS100.

Mergers and acquisitions were the biggest factors in pushing the listings.

Indeed, it is a new organisation — healthAlliance — the shared services organisation formed by the Northern region district health boards that were listed as separate organisations in previous years — that made it to number one this year. Fletcher Building and Mainfreight, two enterprises on the acquisition path, have higher rankings this year. Another newcomer to the list, Auckland Council, which resulted from eight merged councils, came in at number 11 this year.

Meanwhile, organisational restructuring has led to changes in the CIO role — some have opted to disestablish the role and split it into two or they have moved the reporting line. In other organisations, like TelstraClear, this has led to the creation of a more strategic role for CIOs with broader responsibilities, often beyond ICT. This year, nearly a third of the heads of ICT in the 100 organisations are new or are from organisations that are new to MIS100.

Business continuity, mean-while, became a critical priority as systems, processes and infrastructure were tested by the series of natural disasters that hit this country and Australia.

Inside the ICT departments

For the third year now, the majority of CIOs in the MIS100 have been reporting static or reduced staff numbers, while project numbers remained the same or increased, and budgets were steady or cut back.

As well, the average number of screens continues to grow. This year, the total number of screens for all MIS100 companies is 509,516 compared to 455,915 in 2010. These screens were managed by a total of 12,714 staff compared to 14,314 ICT staff in 2010.

This year, the average number of screens for those in the top 25 was 11,267 a jump from 9960 in 2010 and 9201 in 2009. Across the board, ICT staff managed more screens, with each ICT staff member supporting an average of 41 screens compared to 32 screens in 2010, and 30 in 2009.

Every year, public sector organisations dominate the list. More than half of the organisations — which include national agencies, schools and health organisations — are from this sector. Government and defence make up a fifth of the list, followed by education services at 16 percent, and health and community services at 11 percent. Finance and insurance and manufacturing, make up the majority of private sector organisations.

Reporting lines

MIS100 tracks the reporting lines of the CIOs. This year, 42 heads of ICT say they report to the chief executive, managing director or GM corporate, compared to 43 in 2010. Seventeen of them report to the chief finance executive in the organisation, compared to 19 in 2010. Three report to Australian-based CIOs.

This year, CIOs report they will embark on a range of ICT projects, with business continuity/disaster recovery getting the highest spike, followed by cloud computing and software as a service initiatives.

The new influencers

Social media projects cut across all sectors, a development linked with the rise of both tech-savvy staff and customers. Consumerisation of technology is a key issue this year, as organisations enable or are setting up frameworks for a BYOT (bring your own technology) model, following demand from staff to access work systems using a range of devices including their own. CIOs say they are seeking ways to safely and efficiently manage the use of these personal devices. The issue extends to their customers and partners as the latter are using an increasing broad range of devices such as smartphones and iPads, and want — and expect — to connect with the enterprises this way.

At the end of the day, people will bring their own devices and equipment, says Nathan Scott, acting GM for business enabling at NZ Post. “People will use them no matter what, but this means they will use them in our framework,”

Meanwhile, CIOs say they are preparing for another shift. Staff acquisition and retention, which became less prominent during the more economically unstable times, is again a major concern for some CIOs in this year’s report. n

Sheila O’Brien (sobrien@fairfaxbm.co.nz), manager of Fairfax Business Research in New Zealand, provided the analysis of the MIS100 data and graphs.

Calculating the top 100

The MIS100 is a study of New Zealand’s biggest ICT-using organisations based on screen count, turnover and staff numbers. The screen number is given 50 percent of the final weighting, and turnover and employees get 25 percent each. The screen numbers include PCs, servers, laptops and hand-held devices like iPads, Blackberrys and other web-enabled PDAs. n

Top 10 trends 2011

1) Mergers and shared services

Mergers and shared services, particularly within the public sector, were again a huge issue for the top 100 organisations. Major shared services rollouts, such as the new healthAlliance that has formed from parts of hA, Northland DHB and Auckland DHB, are underway. More DHB mergers are expected over the coming 12 to 24 months. Within government, Internal Affairs is the result of a department merger among The Department of Internal Affairs, the National Library of New Zealand and New Zealand Archives. The same is true in the private sector, as shown by the acquisitions of companies such as Fletcher Building and Carter Holt Harvey.

2) Business continuity maintains its top status

Business continuity was a top trend last year, and in 2011 it continues to be important. Natural disasters, such as the September and February Christchurch earthquakes, have affected organisations across the country, bringing new urgency to disaster recovery strategies and datacentre investments. ANZ, Carter Holt Harvey, Fonterra and Healthcare of NZ are just a few examples of companies focusing ICT budgets on business continuity projects.

3) Consumerisation of IT

The rise of a more mobile workforce, and a more technology-literate student population, means personal devices are being used in environments where it is difficult to control how users access IT systems. NZ Post has launched a new programme called ‘Bring Your Own Mobile Device’ in a move away from the organisation providing phones to employees, to instead determine how much it will pay for an employee’s usage on their personal device.

4) Microsoft upgrades — top of mind

MIS100 research this year revealed that Windows 7 is experiencing wide adoption locally. PwC, AUT, the Department of Labour and Vodafone are but a handful of organisations with plans to roll out Windows 7 this year. Upgrades to Office 2010 and Server 2010 are also happening, across virtually every industry featured.

5) Employees regain their edge

This year staff are on the move, with staff acquisition and retention once again coming to the fore.

6) Restructures mean changes to reporting lines

Restructures have led to changes in reporting lines for several organisations, including the NZ Post, University of Canterbury, Downer and University of Auckland to name a few.

7) The rise of the CIO-plus

As part of the aforementioned restructures, more CIOs are being promoted toward what is becoming known as a CIO— plus role. Nigel Prince at MAF, Andrew Crabb at TelstraClear and Stephen Whiteside at the University of Auckland, for example, have all taken on more strategic roles, with senior, executive-level ICT staff reporting directly to them.

8) Social media goes corporate

Gartner recently commended the Inland Revenue Department for its timely and effective use of Facebook to keep people informed following the February earthquake in Christchurch. ASB Bank opened a virtual branch on Facebook to serve and interact with its customers. Many CIOs cited an increased use of social networking tools, and the need to securely support access as part of new business and marketing objectives.

9) Manage me

Outsourcing and a move toward managed environments was a hot topic among CIOs this year. The transition to an IT outsourcing model, including private cloud and WAN diversity, was cited by Department of Corrections, for example, as a key project for 2011.

10) Jump on the cloud wagon

With a move toward managed services comes an increased uptake of cloud-based solutions, along with cloud computing linked to the move toward outsourced datacentres that so many CIOs are favouring. Top of mind at Wintec’s CIO this year, for example, will be the moving of its datacentre to a private cloud. Jess Meyer

This overview was prepared with additional reporting from Jess Meyer, who wrote the profiles of the MIS100 organisations, and collated the top 10 trends.

Sheila O’Brien (sobrien@fairfaxbm.co.nz), manager of Fairfax Business Research in New Zealand, provided the analysis of the MIS100 data and graphs.

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