In an interview with CIO, Thomas talks about leading and building great teams.
“What is important to me as a leader is my values,” says Thomas, who was then CIO of the NZ Defence Force. “It is important for me to work in an environment where my values are recognised. And if there is advice for anybody seeking a career anywhere, make sure your values are consistent with the organisation’s values. Because if they are not, you will never flourish in that environment.”
He also gave “pretty basic” advice for young ICT professionals. The first is to ensure you keep your ICT knowledge and qualifications current. “The reality is in this day and age you need to do these things off your own back, some of them with the company.”
Read more: The art of leading high-performing teams
Second, he says, is to have a customer focus, to think of the users not as colleagues but customers. “As IS professionals, we have to realise we are an enabler. IT is an enabler for the business to achieve its goals. We are in a service organisation, a service culture… We must put customer service in the forefront of everything we do.”
Peter Wise is the new country manager for IDC New Zealand, reporting to IDC ANZ managing director Ullrich Loeffler who was also the predecessor of the role.
Wise has been with IDC for three years as telecommunications research director. His area of technology research is on the emerging Internet of Things market in New Zealand. His previous roles included head of strategy at Telecom Wholesale and GM business marketing at TelstraClear.
"Worldwide IDC is predicting that there will be almost 30 billion connected things by 2020 and we've found that New Zealand is reasonably advanced in terms of take-up of machine to machine connections relative to other countries,” says Wise. “This is mainly driven by a large number of connections for smart electricity meters, but there are also pockets of innovation in other sectors such as transport and security.”
Pluralsight, which provides online training for technology professionals, has opened its international headquarters in Sydney. The company says the new office highlights its aggressive global expansion strategy and will be followed by the opening of three additional operational centres in Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra to support the company’s growth in Australia and New Zealand. Fiona Sweeney heads its ANZ operations.
Vodafone takes home the Walk the Talk award at the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Trust Diversity Awards held in Auckland, acknowledging the commitment to workplace diversity of its CEO, Russell Stanners.
Stanners was recognised for championing pioneering and industry-leading initiatives and programmes at Vodafone New Zealand.
“Our diversity priorities are driven by a vision to create a workforce that represents the demographic of New Zealand,” says Stanners. “Our population is diverse so it’s important that our people represent the voice of our customers, and the communities we operate in.”
Read more: Fail fast is negative, try ‘iterate fast’
Early this year, Vodafone New Zealand implemented the Vodafone global program providing 16 weeks of full paid maternity leave. In addition, the primary caregivers who return to Vodafone within 12 months will receive full pay for a 30-hour week for the first six months. Vodafone Group is one of the first organisations in the world to introduce a mandatory minimum global maternity policy.
Hacking for innovation
Wellington engineering students impressed potential employers by building sophisticated home automation devices within a day at this year’s Summer of Tech Hardware Hackfest. Seventeen students from Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) and Weltec participated in the hackfest.
The students were grouped in five teams and had to plan, build and demonstrate a tech device within the theme of Home Automation, using only Arduino kits and other equipment supplied to them on the day.
The winning team, Catfud, built an automatic cat feeder. Runners-up, Cactus Flower, built an automatic plant watering system and third placegetters, Team e-motion, built a motion sensor that detected room entry.
Industry mentors from Embrium, Times-7, Tekronand ikeGPS helped the students throughout the day and a number of businesses, including Nasdaq-listed wireless technology company Aviat, came along to check out the entries.
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