Our panel of ten

Our panel of ten

These are the people who decide who gets into the Strategic100 list. The task of choosing who should be in the New Zealand 25, the Global 50,and the Rising Stars 25 is certainly time consuming, and to this year's panel of judges, MIS New Zealand would like to thank them for a job well done.

Garth Biggs is the executive director of HiGrowth Project, which has just released the first ICT Industry Map, a survey of 400 ICT companies in New Zealand. The survey, carried out by IDC, was a joint initiative with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Microsoft New Zealand. The map will provide the "reality" in which business and government can underpin strategic and policy decisions for the sector in the next two years, says Biggs, who has over 30 years in IS leadership roles. He was chief executive at Gen-i and CIO of Air New Zealand, Progressive Enterprises and Sky Television.

He is a non-executive director at Optimation and heads a consultancy aiding enterprises bridge the gap between their IT departments and the board.

Ian Birks was appointed CEO of Ideas International in 2001, having served as a director of the company since 1988. He is also chief research officer for the company and guides the overall research direction for the firm which has analysts in Australia, the United States and Europe. Birks has worked as an expert advisor for many IT research buyers and vendors during his long tenure with Ideas International. He is known as an expert industry spokesperson on a wide range of IT infrastructure industry issues.

Prior to Ideas International, he spent a number of years in senior management positions with Prime Computer of Australia. Birks travels extensively on business and has worked on extended research assignments in the US, Europe and Asia.

Michele Caminos is vice president, team manager IT services Asia-Pacific for Gartner. She is based in New Zealand and is responsible for driving the services research across the region. Her key areas of research include business models, go-to-market strategies and key trends.

Caminos is a regular presenter at local and international IT events. Prior to her current role, Caminos was an analyst for Gartner's IT services team in the United States for two years, where her key areas of research included hardware support services. She had also worked as a market analyst with Accenture, specialising in the areas of logistics and distribution.

Sam Higgins is a senior analyst within Forrester's Asia Pacific team, providing both a global and local perspective for Australia and New Zealand within the application development and infrastructure and government research groups.

His research focus extends across a wide range of topics including enterprise architecture, large-scale distributed systems architecture, application design and implementation, service orientation, component-based and model-based development and their supporting tools. He also investigates IT management issues in areas such as strategic planning, service management, project management and portfolio management.

The mainframe generation

Higgins has over 12 years experience in both the public and private sectors developing client-server, mainframe-centric and distributed n-tier applications using traditional, component and model-based approaches, tools and environments.

The last of the "mainframe generation", his early experience was in large scale enterprise systems within the government and finance sectors.

Higgins is a contributing author to the new book by Paul Allen entitled Service-orientation: Winning Strategies and Best Practices (Cambridge University Press). He has a bachelor of business from the Charles Darwin University, where he majored in information systems and minored in marketing.

Graeme Muller is country manager of IDC New Zealand. He moved into this position over a year ago following a period as IDC New Zealand's research manager. Muller oversees the country-wide research for IDC but maintains a specific focus on the IT services and the telecommunications markets.

He has a team of 12 analysts and has a regional analyst based in New Zealand. Prior to IDC, Graeme worked for the IT subsidiary of Lion-Nathan. He has an MBA at City University in London majoring in strategy and a postgraduate diploma in business majoring in marketing from the University of Auckland and a bachelor in pharmacy from Otago University.

Tim Occleshaw is the chief information officer of the Ministry of Social Development. Prior to joining the MSD, he had worked for more than 25 years in the financial services sector in Australia and New Zealand, the last as IT director of ANZ Bank. His roles included corporate/business lending, business and IT strategy, IT operations management, program management. He came to New Zealand in 1998 to take on the role of Year 2000 program director for the ANZ bank.

He was managing the integration of the ANZ and National Bank IT organisations and creating the new "ANZ National" IT organisation when he joined MSD in 2004. Though born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Occleshaw now calls Wellington "home". He and his partner are New Zealand citizens, and they have a Kiwi-born six-year-old son. Occleshaw plays the lead guitar in two bands working in the Wellington region called the "Sugar Daddies" and "Out To Lunch".

Brent Powell is chief information officer of Fletcher Distribution. He has held senior IS positions in British Airways and Marks & Spencer, the latter in Asia. Powell became Marks & Spencer's IT service centre manager, then IT operations manager, leading 100 staff. He eventually became IT project manager, heading an IT budget of overUnivers £100 million as the retail chain moved from ICL to IBM mainframes.

In 1995, Powell was put in charge of IT in Asia, based in Hong Kong but implementing a variety of IT projects locally and across Southeast Asia. He went back to New Zealand in 1998, joining Farmers, the Pacific Retail Group in 2001, and then Fletcher Distribution (Placemakers) in 2004.

Ed Saul is the former group chief information officer of Tower where he spent 10 years, responsible ultimately for IT across the group in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Saul left Tower towards the end of 2005 to return to management consulting.

Prior to his roles in Tower, Saul was management consultant, initially with Deloitte and then independently, with a primary focus and interest in operations management and business process re-engineering. He holds an electronic engineering degree and an MBA and is a registered professional engineer.

Marcel van den Assum left his Fonterra CIO post in early 2005 to spend more time working in the "IS governance" space. He is currently a non-executive director at Simpl Group and an independent advisor for some national government agencies. He is involved in a CIO mentoring program and in incubator projects. Van den Assum has held various IT leadership roles in Australia, Europe, Japan, Canada and the USA. He was with Unisys for more than 20 years, and was general manager of global outsourcing when he joined the dairy industry.

Stephen Whiteside is the director of IT systems and services at the University of Auckland. He joined the university in 2001, and manages a group of 150 staff. Whiteside has led the development of the university's information management strategy. Whiteside was an accountant working with Coopers & Lybrand when he became interested in PCs. In 1984 to 1986, he moved to London to specialise in computer audit.

From there, it was off to Christchurch where he broadened his specialities to include strategic planning and project management and delivery. He was CIO of the Canterbury District Health Board for eight years, but could not resist the challenge of heading the IT operations at the University of Auckland. The university has the highest number of screens - over 13,000 - in the whole of New Zealand. He is active in a group called EDUCAUSE, which promotes intelligent use of IT in higher education, and chaired its 2005 Australasia conference held in Auckland.

Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

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