“We continue to innovate on many fronts, in many countries,” says Kevin Drinkwater, CIO at Mainfreight.
The company’s technology-enabled projects range from Shipment Centre, the global online booking system for air and ocean freight in Asia, to a KPI Reporting system for its European operations.
The latter saved the company 200 hours per month that were needed to send Excel reports, by using cloud technologies to feed the information from their source systems Trex and Mainmove, into the data warehouse. The customers get real-time information on performance of the services provided by Mainfreight.
Close to home, Drinkwater’s team launched one of the company’s largest projects, Mainstreet, which resulted in having operations in New Zealand, Australia and the United States running on the same transport management system.
These and other programmes Drinkwater has spearheaded has led him to be named as the top ranked leader in the inaugural 2019 CIO50 in New Zealand.
A panel of judges scored the CIO50 entries based on questions under two pillars - innovation and leadership.
The CIO50 report - which features the 50 technology and digital leaders, and those who are ‘ones to watch’ - was launched in breakfast forums this week in Auckland and Wellington.
The research is held in conjunction with CIO50 in Australia. Together, the executives in these lists will comprise the first batch of CIO100 ANZ leaders.
Read here for more leadership insights from the 2019 CIO50 leaders.
In memoriam: Atta Elayyan
Both events in Auckland and Wellington started with a minute of silence for Atta Elayyan and the other victims of the Christchurch terror attacks on March 15.
In Auckland, the tribute was led by Victor Yuen, head of product of FaceMe, who was a close friend of Elayyan. In Wellington, Murray Wills, Maxsys founder and one of the CIO50 judges, led the tribute.
Championing diversity and tech for good
There are 12 women in the 2019 CIO50 leaders. Five of them are in the top 25: Sarah Ellisdon of Counties Power, Stella Ward of Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards, Angie Judge of Dexibit, Sarah Thirlwall of MinterEllisonRuddWatts, and Vidhya Makam, New Zealand Health Group.
The CIO50 also recognises the best ICT-enabled programme which helps solve a community or social issue.
The 2019 winner is Zeal, with the support of the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation.
The two worked together to create “Live For Tomorrow” an online crisis intervention and a world-first response to young people disclosing mental health crisis online.
Woop! So proud of the work I get to do This morning @zealnz & @VFNZ_foundation won the @CIOonline #CIO50 ITC Enabled Community Award for 2019 & @ThankyouPayroll was Highly Commended! #proud #Tech4good pic.twitter.com/xi6W0ubAsK— Lani Evans (@lanibeth) March 27, 2019
The highly commended entries were Te Tira Toi Whakangao, in association with NZTE and Datacom, and Thankyou Payroll.
The other finalists in this category were Clearpoint with Eat My Lunch and Dream Lab in association with the Vodafone Foundation.
Dr Marcus Blosch, research VP at Gartner, spoke about the CIO and business transformation: Building a new foundation.
CIOs need to think differently about their role, said Blosch.
They must be comfortable talking about the business model, and build skills for themselves and their teams on business model design.
He also listed other skills beyond traditional ICT that CIOs need to have in their teams.
In Auckland, Chris Trigg, chief digital officer, Southern Cross Health Society, talked about his career ascent from CIO to CDO, and the digital transformation programme at the not for profit organisation. "Data and analytics are key enablers to our business strategy," said Trigg.
In Wellington, Cobus Nel, general manager information services and technology at Transpower, talked about accelerating transformation and innovation for the digital era.
“The opportunities are considerable and the challenges are very real.The opportunities are considerable and the challenges are very real,” he said on the work ahead for him and his team.
Datacom executives Mark Ellis, associate director - sales and business development, and Mike Bullock, general manager, public sector sales, spoke on the frameworks organisations are using to boost productivity and innovation.
Andrew Hurt, managing director, Australia and New Zealand of Poly, talked about the focus of the company that was formed from the merger of Polycom and Plantronics.
These include helping create workspaces and equipping these with technologies and tools to help people collaborate and become more productive. "Distraction is expensive," he said.
Panel discussions were held in Auckland and Wellington on how CIOs are leading digital transformation programmes.
In Auckland, the panellists were Rebecca Chenery, chief digital officer, Watercare; Kevin Angland, general manager digital services at Mercury; Mark Baker, principal, MIH Consulting; and Matti Seikkula, chief information officer, e-Spatial.
In Wellington, the panellists were Matti Seikkula of e-Spatial, Stella Ward, chief digital officer, Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards; Gary Baird, chief technology officer, Inland Revenue; Sean Davidson, general manager information technology, VTNZ/Dekra; and Paul Littlefair, chief information officer, LIC.
Insightful panel discussion at #CIO50 Wellington launch ... “10 weeks tools down to retrain folk was a massive cultural uplift” @Paullittlefair CIO at agri firm LIC #nooneleftbehind #potentiarecruitment #technology #CIONZ pic.twitter.com/zkjwn40eDz— Abinesh Krishan (@abkrishan) March 27, 2019
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.