Software upgrades appear to be more prevalent than hardware, however, especially as a focus on server and desktop virtualisation takes shape.
These are among the major findings of the MIS100 for 2010, the annual profiling of the top ICT-using organisations in New Zealand.
For the second year now, the majority of CIOs in the MIS100 have reported static or reduced staff numbers, while project numbers were the same or increased, with budgets steady or cut back.
Achieving key business objectives through the utilisation of ICT is paramount and, for most CIOs, this will not stop despite financial restrictions to their organisations as a whole. Achieving cost savings through ICT and reinvesting those savings back into the business has become a common way to achieve overall budget reductions, without actually reducing ICT budgets.Some of the pressure from the recession might be coming off, as indicated by the range of projects they are working on, Rob O’Neill, Sunday Star Times business editor, told those attending the MIS100 event held in Auckland last week where the report was presented (click here for the presentations).
The projects indicate the CIOs interviewed for the MIS100 are working on transformation initiatives, but they are still under a certain amount of pressure around costs. “It is a fragile recovery,” he says.
The MIS100 report has traditionally been dominated by the public sector and this year is no different, with government organisations (including educational institutions and health boards) filling more than half the ranks of the top-100 list.
This year, 22 educational organisations are in the list. Two of them – the University of Auckland and the University of Otago are in the top 10, taking the first and third slots respectively. Health and community services, the third largest sector, comprise 12 percent of the total.
The top 10 IT-using organisations in New Zealand, based on screen numbers, staff and turnover, are:
University of Auckland; Fonterra Co-operative Group; University of Otago; Inland Revenue Department; ANZ National; New Zealand Defence Force; Telecom New Zealand; Ministry of Social Development; Fletcher Buildingand Air New Zealand.
Social media has moved up the radar for CIOs in the top 100, particularly for CIOs of tertiary institutions with younger and/or tech savvy users. (Click here to read the overview and profiles of the MIS100 and the ‘bubbling under’ list of organisations just under the top 100 list.)At the MIS100 event, Peter Macaulay, principal end user pratice, IDC New Zealand, said that CIOs have to contend with a range of major challenges led by reducing costs and recruiting and retraining staff.
At the same time, there are external factors including the economy and the shift in ICT models that include cloud computing, that makes the CIO role so “tricky”.
The CIO role itself is evolving, as Macaulay cites several developments that include: organisations not owning or operating services; end users choosing their own devices; ‘netness’ or ubiquitous connectivity; seamless business and personal apps; and CIOs ceasing to have any operational accountability in some organisations.Another speaker David Downs, the local Microsoft Services director, discussed how cloud computing is changing IT business models across sectors and in Microsoft itself. The promises of cloud computing, he said, include flexibility, agility, scalability, performance and cost savings.
The move to cloud computing is the biggest shift Microsoft has encountered in recent years, he says. The software giant is investing in the cloud across its three major businesses – products where 90 percent of all new development is focused on the cloud; the IT department where it has invested $1 billion in more than 20 secure cloud datacentres; and in consulting where it has a dedicated cloud practice.
He suggests a three-step approach to the cloud for CIOs. The first is to define their organisation’s cloud strategy. The second is to run trials on selected workloads such as email; and the third is to implement private, public cloud or hybrid services.
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