The New Zealand Defence Force is like a country in many aspects. Every line of business is there.
Victor Vae’au has left his CIO post at the New Zealand Defence Force after nearly six years.
Vae’au presided over significant transformation of the ICT capability within Defence.
Defence went through implementing a remediation response to the 2010 policy direction on its ICT, including the opportunity to modernise its systems and services.
The programme replacing and consolidating its capabilities into industry-provisioned datacentres, deploying thin client technologies and removal of Windows XP.
Defence also completed its implementation of the SAP Human Capital Module (HCM) centralising and automating its payroll and recently completed the implementation of a completely new system to support the Veterans Affairs organisation.
Current priorities includes the development of its secure network that has the potential to be a common capability for government.
Colonel Paul Dragicevich, Director ICT Operations, is acting CIO.
Defence, meanwhile, is seeking a replacement, but renamed the role to Chief, Communications & Information Services (CCIS).
According to the advertisement for the role, the Defence is looking for an experienced leader to guide a large and complex ICT function through a period of significant change.
The role will be an experienced CIO with the ability to communicate complex information at the appropriate level of detail to facilitate executive decision-making, and be able to think and act strategically.
As well, the candidate must be commercially astute with the ability to negotiate and manage partnerships with external organisations.
Defence was number 9 in the 2016 CIO100, the annual report on the top ICT using organisationsin New Zealand. According to the report, the ICT team numbers 300 and manages 17,450 screens, working on national and international projects.
In an earlier interview, Vae’au summed how he saw the role and his experience there:
“The New Zealand Defence Force is like a country in many aspects. Every line of business is there. We have our own transport industry, logistics, airplanes, hotels, and hospitals – the whole lot. And all of those come with systems and people to operate these.”
NZ Defence Force CIOs through the years:
Ron Hooton: Chief visionary
Read more: CIO to CEO: Career advice from Rob Fyfe
Derek Locke: Mission: Critical
Locke says the challenges of meeting the demands of a peacetime environment with critical overseas missions mean he has the best CIO job in New Zealand.
Peter Thomas: Building great teams
Like Vae’au, Thomas came from the finance sector before moving to Defence. From “making money… to protecting New Zealanders,” is how he described his career swerve.
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