Name: Graeme Riley Company: SAP New Zealand
Position: Managing director
Where do you live? In a great apartment in Parnell, Auckland. I love the location for shops, bars and restaurants, as well having the Auckland Domain as our garden.
Are you married? Kids? Married to Donna for 34 years and we have a daughter, Alaina, who is returning home to New Zealand after two years in Japan on her OE. Alaina gets married in November so it is going to be a big year for the family.
Where did you go to school? Secondary schooling in Hamilton and from there straight into the world of computing.
How long have you been working in ICT? I have been in ICT for 37 years, predominantly in computer bureaux and software vendor companies. My roles have ranged from computer operator, programmer/analyst, sales and management.
What are your interests outside work and ICT? Rugby, golf, hiking and any sport currently playing on Sky Sport. I’m also passionate about travel, wine and food and take every opportunity to see a new country or try out a new restaurant and sample a great wine.
What’s the best thing about working with IT executives? IT executives are in the privileged position of supporting the entire business and therefore have one of the broadest views across businesses and an appreciation of both strategic and tactical initiatives. Accordingly, most IT executives have a unique appreciation for the business issues, impacts and interdependencies that few other divisional managers have.
What is the worst? IT executives who think that IT runs the business rather than serves the business are the worst to deal with. Technology only facilitates business solutions; it is not the solution in and of itself.
For customers, are you the technical authority on products or an approachable ‘big picture’ person? Very much the big picture and I try to demystify IT for senior executives.
If you could invent any IT product for clients, what would it be? I am really not that creative so I am very unlikely to invent anything. I get frustrated when technology complicates life or provides me with options I simply don’t need, so anything that simplifies life for the end-user would get my vote
What is the stupidest question CIOs ask you? “How much does it cost?” It’s never about cost, but about the value that an investment can drive into a business and if it doesn’t drive value then don’t do it.
What is your favourite networking situation? Any event that does not have IT as its primary focus.
Do you prefer to work with people you know or relish the challenge of the new? I always enjoy the camaraderie of old colleagues, but prefer the stimulus that comes with meeting new people and hearing fresh ideas.
What are you passionate about? 1. My customers, who keep me in business and who stimulate me to go to work every day. From the very outset in computer bureaux I learned that customer satisfaction was everything and that service excellence was what mattered most. 2. My principles. Do what you say you will do and tell it as you see it. 3. My family, who keep me well grounded.
What are you afraid of? Facebook. How many ways do I need to have to contact people? Between the telephone, email, SMS, MMS and my Blackberry, I think I will keep a little bit of me to myself and my family.
I’d like to offer you a bribe ... what couldn’t you resist? The list is endless and the will is weak so the likelihood I would accept is very high. A great meal, a fine bottle of wine, a sporting event or a fast car would be a great start.
What will you do when you retire? I’ve always wanted to have a few vines and produce enough wine just for family and friends. Spending time on the land, enjoying family and maybe some building renovation project would keep me very happy.
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