MIS100 2007: Tracking pains, gains and goals

MIS100 2007: Tracking pains, gains and goals

Resourcing, consolidation and business continuity management are the reigning issues this year. CIOs are busy working on a range of business projects, but with an eye on the growing concern on ICT’s impact on the environment.

For the fourth year, the University of Auckland is the biggest ICT user organisation in New Zealand. As in previous MIS100s, government and defence and education services comprise more than half the organisations.

The newcomers this year – among them Transfield, NorthTec and Turners & Growers – come from a range of sectors and indicates the impact of ICT in various business environments.

CIOs are actively engaged in business projects with major ICT components. VoIP, virtualisation, knowledge management and customer facing applications are just some of the most common projects. Recruiting staff – and keeping them – continues to be a critical management challenge.

This year saw the emergence of a new theme – ICT and the environment. While only a handful of CIOs and they were notably in the public sector, discussed their initiatives towards this, it is expected the issue will be given higher priority in the coming years.

Numbers and movements

The New Zealand Defence Force tops the list of screen counts, with 18,000 screens, a jump from 14,800 in 2006. All in all, the total number of screens of all MIS100 companies is 376,514.

The average number of screens continues to grow each year. This year, the average number of screens for those in the top 25 was 8517, a jump from 8013 in 2006 and 8150 in 2005. MIS100 organisations employ a total of 16,241 staff, with an average of 121 per site; compared to 15,684 staff, with an average of 117 per site in 2006.

Overall, each IT staff member supports an average of 31 screens. For those in the top 25, the figure is lower, at 28. IT staff in the 76 to 100 group support as much as 42 screens each.

Education, government and defence and health and community services sectors dominate this year’s list. However, the number of government and defence organisations has gone down (18 compared to 21 in 2006). This meant an additional listing each in education services, manufacturing and transport and warehousing sectors. This year, there are 23 in the education services sector. Schools where ICT is a key focus – and where students are issued laptops as part of the curriculum like Kristin School, Saint Kentigern, Diocesan School for Girls – are firmly entrenched in the MIS100.

Auckland, with 40 organisations (34 in 2006), overtakes Wellington, with 29 organisations (36 in 2006) in regional distribution of the MIS100 organisations. Christchurch has seven organisations (compared to eight last year). This is followed by Dunedin (five this year, one less than 2006) and Palmerston North remains constant with three organisations in the list.

Twenty nine heads of ICT say they report directly to the chief executive or managing director – and four of them are in the top 10 list. Twenty-five CIOs say they report to the chief finance officer of the finance director. Two CIOs report to the board, and the rest report to a range or titles including chief operating officer, deputy director, general manager and head of corporate services.

As well, MIS100 tracks the ICT leadership shifts. In the past year, new CIO appointments included Julia Raue, Air New Zealand; Wayne Pickup, NZ Lotteries; Johan Vendrig, Auckland District Health Board; and David McLachlan, Wellington City Council.

The business challenges

MIS100 provides insights into the myriad challenges enterprises face as they ramp up investments in ICT.

CIOs interviewed this year all point to the critical need to ensure ICT is closely aligned with the business, and for all projects with ICT components to be seen as what they really are – business projects. Some enterprises, of which ANZ National Bank is a prime example, have restructured their ICT teams to ensure this alignment is optimised.

A big undertaking for many organisations this year is working on a range of projects involving customer facing systems and applications.

Planning around business continuity management is a priority this year for organisations across all sectors.

Some organisations went further, as with the case of TelstraClear which ran a full DR test from an alternative site for two days. Head of IS operations Andrew Crabb says many organisations talk about business continuity and disaster recovery, but don’t “pull the switch” to test these systems.

Pandemic planning was a big topic for a number of organisations particularly in government like the NZ Defence Force. Universities and district health boards are also working together to investigate shared disaster recovery systems.

Collaboration is another strong trend particularly for CIOs in the public sector. The district health boards report joint projects to link their systems and business continuity management strategies. In the education sector, the arrival of the KAREN network research allows members to collaborate with universities and research centres both locally and offshore.

The project portfolio

Server virtualisation is one of the most common projects cited, with a number of CIOs linking this to cost reduction and helping build the foundation for disaster recovery systems.

VoIP has moved from a technology that is being investigated, to one already implemented. Some early adopters have gone further with video and mobility options already being implemented or trialled over the IP network.

Knowledge management projects are being implemented or current ones reviewed and upgraded.

Staff recruitment and retention remains a key concern – and focus – for both public and private sector enterprises. For Johan Vendrig, CIO of the Auckland District Health Board, the problem is exacerbated by the fact the staff being sought for should be able to “pro-actively engage” with the teams in the other business units.

CIOs across sectors cite various programmes – training, upskilling, flexible work schedule – to address this challenge. Some of them underscore the opportunity to work with leading edge technologies and to be assigned offshore as retention strategies.

Through all the demands of meeting current requirements of the business, CIOs in the MIS100 underscore the imperative of always thinking for the long-term.

Having that eye to future needs is critical. As James Dring of IAG says, “Too many organisations are only working tactically; they stay on a treadmill of hardware refreshes instead of taking a longer term view.”

Forward looking CIOs are already anticipating the additional tasks needed as companies respond to the growing concern over ICT’s impact on the environment. Some are already starting to audit the effects of the ICT systems they are supporting to the environment. This will prepare them for the time when the CEO or the board will ask what about the carbon footprint of their ICT systems.

Andrew Rowsell-Jones, vice president for research at Gartner, says this is a question CIOs will face in the near term for in a white collar enterprise “the biggest single energy user, greenhouse gas producer is the data centre”.

Rowsell-Jones says there are industry standards on how to measure this but the CIO should start by looking at the energy usage of all the ICT facilities. The other task is to talk to the energy supplier on working together to reduce carbon footprint.

Rowsell-Jones foresees the carbon footprint issue having an extended impact on the consumer, similar to those surrounding blood diamonds and sweat shop labour. “Be aware that this is an issue that is not going to go away.”

Fairfax Business Research provided the analysis of the MIS100 data and the graphs.

Rank Name

1 University of Auckland

2 New Zealand Defence Force

3 Fonterra Co-operative Group

4 University of Otago

5 Telecom New Zealand

6 Ministry of Social Development

7 Fletcher Building

8 Carter Holt Harvey

9 ANZ National Bank

10 Massey University

11 Progressive Enterprises

12 Air New Zealand

13 Inland Revenue Department

14 Auckland University of Technology

15 University of Canterbury

16 New Zealand Police

17 Land Transport New Zealand

18 ASB Bank

19 Bank of New Zealand

20 healthAlliance

21 Westpac Bank

22 Te Wananga o Aotearoa

23 Warehouse Group

24 Victoria University of Wellington

25 Auckland District Health Board

26 Department of Corrections

27 University of Waikato

28 New Zealand Post

29 Canterbury District Health Board

30 UNITEC Institute of Technology

31 Ministry of Justice

32 Foodstuffs Co-operative Society

33 Manukau Institute of Technology

34 Accident Compensation Corporation

35 Ministry of Education

36 HealthIntelligence

37 Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology


39 Waikato District Health Board

40 EDS New Zealand

41 Waikato Institute of Technology

42 APN Holdings NZ

43 Foodstuffs South Island

44 Farmers' Trading Corporation

45 Auckland City Council

46 New Zealand Racing Board

47 Insurance Australia Group NZ

48 Vodafone New Zealand

49 PGG Wrightson

50 Fairfax New Zealand

51 Dept of Labour

52 Fisher & Paykel

53 Datacom

54 Otago District Health Board

55 Promina Group

56 Christchurch City Council

57 Saint Kentigern Trust Board

58 Opus International Consultants

59 Lincoln University

60 TelstraClear

61 Universal College of Learning

62 Fulton Hogan

63 Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry

64 Otago Polytechnic

65 Lion Nathan

66 Toll NZ

67 Ministry of Health New Zealand

68 Whitireia Community Polytechnic

69 Department of Conservation

70 Transfield Services

71 Vector

72 New Zealand Lotteries Commission

73 IBM New Zealand

74 Department of Internal Affairs

75 Wellington City Council

76 Wellington Institute of Technology

77 NorthTec

78 Gullivers Pacific

79 MidCentral District Health Board

80 Southern Institute of Technology

81 Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade

82 New Zealand Fire Service

83 Manukau City Council

84 Television New Zealand

85 Bay of Plenty District Health Board

86 Southern Cross Healthcare

87 House of Travel

88 New Zealand Steel

89 Freightways

90 Kristin School

91 Tyco Fire & Security

92 AgResearch

93 Goodman Fielder New Zealand

94 Eastern Institute of Technology

95 Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner

96 Diocesan School for Girls

97 Works Infrastructure

98 Housing New Zealand Corporation

99 Turners and Growers

100 TPF Restaurants

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