Senior IS executive:Richard Wilkinson, IT director
Name of organisation:Fairfax Media
Size of IS shop:75
Address:4 Williamson Avenue Ponsonby, Auckland (effective June 2016)
Key IS projects this year:Digital first publishing, mobility rollout, low touch newspaper production, activity-based working.
THE ICT TEAM at Fairfax is facing a bigger budget this year to prepare for the rise in IT projects, and additional team members.
Richard Wilkinson, IT director, says the 75-member ICT team is working on a range of projects that support the company’s growth as an innovative media company in the midst of a digitalisation program and expansion of services like events.
Fairfax is a multi-platform media company, with a portfolio that includes two national weeklies, nine dailies, magazines and community papers, as well as New Zealand’s largest news website stuff.co.nz. Fairfax says its diverse print and digital channels and services reach an estimated 2.9 million New Zealanders.
Wilkinson says key projects for the team this year include digital first publishing, mobility rollout, low touch newspaper production and activity-based working (ABW).
The goal is to support editorial and production processes that are taking on the ‘digital first’ strategy, while continuing their traditional printed operations.
Wilkinson says the work in the previous year around ABW and the hardware required in this new work environment has delivered the most ICT-enabled benefit to the business.
The team is again involved in a bigger ABW deployment, as Fairfax is shifting to a new office to Ponsonby in June 2016.
Fairfax has reported it is investing $7 million for the new office which will house around 500 staff. The building will feature open spaces and workspaces for staff working across print, social and digital programmes.
Wilkinson says other major technology investments for the company are around mobile, enterprise architecture, content management, and security and risk management.
He says of the challenges he and his team are preparing for, information security is the top ranked “by a long shot”.
He explains this in the context of Fairfax owning www.stuff.co.nz, now the largest New Zealand-based website.