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Reasons to be proud

Reasons to be proud

Mind-boggling. Even the Mutt wants to attend CIO’s regular leaders' luncheons these days. I have to say no because of his habit of chewing on the fingers of people rash enough to try to pat him on the head. This bro don’t like being patronised.

Mind-boggling. Even the Mutt wants to attend CIO’s regular leaders' luncheons these days. I have to say no because of his habit of chewing on the fingers of people rash enough to try to pat him on the head. This bro don’t like being patronised. The lunches often feature ordinary CIOs who are creating mind-boggling applications at a minimum of cost.

Take Toby Darby, CIO at the Auckland Regional Council. Darby, at the time he spoke last month, was still this country’s CIO of the Year. His topic was the Virtually Thr SMS, WAP and web interactive bus timetable project. He deserves applause for creating a remarkable set of online and wireless applications for bus users. After Darby’s presentation I spoke to a visiting professor, Donald Gotterbarn from the East Tennessee State University. Gotterbarn, who is visiting Auckland University of Technology, told me that if Darby had spoken to a US audience of CIOs he would have received a similarly positive response. CIOs have many reasons to be proud of their achievements in New Zealand.

And, talking of achievements, I have now completed the programme for the annual CIO conference in Auckland.

This year’s essential theme is about change - how all CIOs are grappling with current issues while striving to maintain a vision that will keep your company at the forefront of business. The programme features a succession of leaders in private business and government. Old favourites include Rob Aalders, author (with Peter Hind, a regular CIO columnist) of The IT Manager’s Survival Guide.

Aalders asks why the average life expectancy of a CIO is only three years and what you can do about it. Hind presents his annual Forecast for Management, outlining what you might see as your key preoccupations over the next year.

One other speaker you will have seen in the past is Brendan Boyle, head of the e-business unit within the State Services Commission. His topic is where e-government is heading. Also in the government arena are David Hill, security chief in the Prime Minister’s Department, and Russ Ballard and Terry Jackson of Land Information NZ.

All up, there are at least three prominent Australian speakers - two of them CIOs. New Zealand CIOs speaking at the conference are too numerous to mention here. Look out for Toby Warren, CEO of Southfresh, lawyer Craig Horrocks, Dervilla Mullan from Telecom, Andre Snoxall of Capital and Coast District Health Board, Bill Westphal of Rodney City Council, IT auditor Graham Crombie, agile programming specialist Bryan Dollery and Housing New Zealand’s Rob Herries.

Our lunchtime speaker on the second day is John Labrie, former CIO at Weta Studios. Labrie warns, however, that pressing business in the US could draw him away.

Before I close, one little bit of housekeeping: our June issue featured an interview with SAP’s director of public services, Dietmar Pfaehler on e-government. A last-minute glitch meant that we dropped one line of type. The final sentence should have read: "And that is also one of the reasons why the change happens slowly."

I am getting the Mutt to study Aunt Daisy’s Fundamentals of Gracious Living, a book about good manners. So far he has learnt to shake hands. Now, if only I could stop him from snarling at people!

If you want to attend CIO’s regular luncheons, contact Sue McIntosh at IDG: sue_mcintosh@idg.co.nz.

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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