MIS 100 2007(1-20)
- 29 March, 2008 23:00
* Click on the triangle symbols to reveal the information for each organisation.
2006 ranking: 1
Senior IS executive: Stephen Whiteside, IT director
Reports to: Director administration
Size of IS shop: 300
Mobile PCs: 2010
Hand-held devices: 800
Total screens: 15,354
Industry: Education services
PC environment: Apple Mac, Windows XP, Dell, HP, Lenovo
Server environment: AIX, Linux, Solaris, Windows 2003, Sun, IBM, Apple, Dell, HP
DBMS: Oracle, SQL, MySQL
Address: 22 Princes Street, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Upgrade of HR systems; new city data centre; enhancement to online presence, eResearch.
As New Zealand’s largest university and research centre, the University of Auckland wants to grow its research income so that by 2012 it is double the 2005 income figure.
Stephen Whiteside, director of IT, says the university’s IT team of 300 is focusing on improving student services via “quite a large number” of new process and service improvements. “The Government is reviewing the way it funds tertiary teaching and learning so that research funding is now more based on outcomes. A key driver for the IT team is therefore to provide measures and reporting around teaching and learning systems and to improve the quality of our indicators.”
Challenges the university faces are the low unemployment rate, which decreases the number of students choosing to study at Masters degree level, and lack of affordable suitable student accommodation within Auckland.
To address these and other challenges, Whiteside says collaboration and connectivity between systems and locations is important. As are new education delivery channels such as e-research, which allow researchers to collaborate online to complete work they can’t complete individually or in person. Access, processing, and storage computer grids are used to facilitate shared online international research.
Whiteside says observing international universities and their innovations around research and funding is helpful and international collaboration supports the growth of local research activity.
The university, for instance, has a close relationship with the earthquake engineering division of the University of San Diego and access to its ‘shake table’. There is also international research collaboration on medical analyses such as bio-engineering of the human heart, physiological modelling and geno-mapping.
Scheduled legislative acts like the Public Records Act, effective from 2010, creates work for the IT team and developing improved document management and supporting systems is a key activity for 2007 along with process enhancements in HR and student administration areas.
Telecommunications and international data networking needs are well supported by the KAREN research and education data network, and this has removed a lot of barriers to national and international connectivity, says Whiteside. Whiteside says local telecommunications costs still have a prohibitive effect on teaching, learning and research. “We still need to be able to provide our students with a much better deal for remote access to our campus. Students are often time poor because of travel or part-time work commitments, so the need to record lectures and provide more flexibility accessing learning material is important. Access to true broadband services is still woefully inadequate in New Zealand and we need that access to become far more ubiquitous.”
Whiteside says while new voice system investments are VoIP, the benefits are contained because the university does not have a large number of dispersed and remote sites – VoIP will therefore continue to be implemented “very incrementally”. Wireless technologies will be significantly expanded in 2007 and identity management technologies enhanced to allow visiting academics to wirelessly access the network.
The university will implement a new data centre in 2007, and investigate a combined disaster recovery centre with other universities including the University of Waikato.
2006 Ranking: 3
Senior IS executive: Derek Locke, chief information officer
Reports to: Chief of New Zealand Defence Force
Size of IS shop: 300
Mobile PCs: 3500
Hand-held devices: 500
Total screens: 18,000
Industry: Government and defence
PC environment: Windows XP, Compaq, Dell, IBM,Toshiba
Server environment: Solaris, Other Unix; Windows 95/98, 2000, NT; Compaq; HP9000; OEM Intel-based
DBMS: Oracle, SQL
Address: Defence House 15-21 Stout Street, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: ERP system upgrade; infrastructure and telecommunications upgrade; server replacement.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), which integrates and manages three services – army, navy and air force – faces some “big issues” in 2007. But these are good challenges that will make the NZDF more professional and agile, says CIO Derek Locke. They include rolling out a new strategic plan, and development of robust governance structures, with a new senior management team led by the Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerry Mateparae.
The combined organisation has a vision of being “the best in everything we do” with a mission to secure New Zealand against external threat, protect sovereign interests and take action to meet likely contingencies in areas of strategic interest to New Zealand.
To complete these strategic changes, NZDF has received additional funding of $4.6 billion over 10 years (beginning from the 2005/06 financial year) to support the Defence Sustainability Initiative (DSI). Locke says there is subsequently a lot of focus around new recruitment to support DSI and to counter a significant drop in personnel numbers.
Like many public organisations, Locke says NZDF is committed to a “huge” knowledge management project called Information Management and Exploitation which addresses storage issues around unstructured data. NZDF is also investing heavily in disaster recovery and business continuity projects, including pandemic planning, and is considering the effects of global warming on IT-supported systems.
Key NZDF IT systems are ERP systems supported by SAP software, email and other messaging systems, and operational systems that support war fighting. These systems must be capable of being deploying rapidly for overseas use, and there is pressure on IT systems and staff as a result of multiple military deployments, including ensuring NZDF has enough people, equipment and bandwidth. “Bandwidth at home is barely sustaining us and we are constrained by the lack of a high speed bandwidth network servicing the country. The demands of email, data and voice traffic are all exceeding our bandwidth capability, and yet we are still ensuring we meet our operational commitments. NZDF would be one of the biggest users of telecommunications in New Zealand,” says Locke.
He says ‘minimum broadband’ services should start around 100Mbps, particularly for large organisations with SAP-type applications that require “fat pipes” to be deployed to full potential. NZDF is investigating the use of dedicated satellite capability, and is in initial discussions with potential providers for a large satellite connection to be used mainly for data and in remote areas. Mobile technologies are important, says Locke, and NZDF is currently rolling out Blackberry devices to staff. “We have people travelling overseas for two weeks at a time and you cannot use anything other than GSM technology in the main for that.”
ICT projects for 2007 include investment in business intelligence tools and server virtualisation software from EMC – NZDF aims to reduce server numbers from 750 to around 200 within two to three years.
Defence is also extending its investment in Nortel, Cisco and Juniper VoIP technologies, and is looking at trialling 802.11-based wireless technologies. “There’s a lot of misconception about wireless technologies and data security,” says Locke. “We use wireless in our enterprise systems and there are more secure wireless solutions available now – there’s no reason that wireless can’t be used.”
2006 ranking: 2
Senior IS executive: Greg James, chief information officer and general manager global business processes
Reports to: Chief financial officer
Size of IS shop: 374
Mobile PCs: 3028
Hand-held devices: 510
Total screens: 9462
PC environment: Windows XP, Dell, IBM, Compaq/HP
Server environment: Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, VMS, Windows Server 2003, Sun, Dell, IBM
DBMS: Oracle, SQL Server
Address: 9 Princes Street, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Not disclosed.
Fonterra is the largest dairy exporter and the sixth largest dairy company in the world. As a global business, CIO Greg James says Fonterra realises the advantages of a globally common operating environment and is currently rationalising desktop and legacy applications. Fonterra is collaboratively planning with business units and key customers and suppliers to optimise the supply chain and ensure its efficiency in moving products into the right parts of the world.
James, who is also global business processes general manager, says key challenges include managing demand and organising the availability of IT resources to meet that demand, given Fonterra’s aggressive growth targets. “We are doing a lot of work in China as a result of our equity position with San Lu in China; and China will soon be one of the three major dairy consumer countries in the world.”
He says tactical IT initiatives will see Fonterra consolidate a number of applications that will provide the springboard for further growth. IT is likewise aligned to and integrated with the business planning cycle and future initiatives are aligned to the overall Fonterra strategy. James says collaboration is key to competitive advantage in the export and manufacturing sector, and ERP solutions are a core source of support for collaboration between Fonterra and its suppliers and customers.
On the telecommunications front, James says legislation is positive in that Telecom/Gen-i will need to compete equally with other providers and need to differentiate through customer service, responsiveness and innovation. He says there will also be increased competition at a commodity level which should mean the need to provide relevant value-add through product and service packages. On the negative side, legislation and local loop unbundling may reduce pricing flexibility due to the requirement of the Telecom networks group to deal at an arms length with the Telecom/Gen-i customer facing business units. “It should mean that they will receive the same unit pricing on ‘wholesale’ type products as other providers. And if the model of British Telecom is followed, then the ‘regulator’ will have the ability to scrutinise corporate deals to ensure no cross subsidisation and ensure that certain hurdle rates in terms of profitability are achieved in customer contracts.”
In the next 12 months, Fonterra will embark on IT projects including an SAP ERP and business warehouse system upgrade, a hardware upgrade in conjunction with EDS, server virtualisation, and the possible implementation of a CRM system. “We are looking at certain tools and their viability. We use CRM now as a fairly core part of customer service toolset, but this is internal focused and we are looking at whether there is any point extending it.”
VoIP is another area of interest, and James says if Fonterra had ‘greenfields’ sites, then VoIP systems would definitely be implemented. However, the economic model for VoIP is not as clear for organisations like Fonterra that need to apply VoIP over existing telephony infrastructure.
“We have cost tied up in existing infrastructure and to move away from that is not as compelling for economic, not technological reasons.”
Fonterra is continuing a document management system review along with a focus on business continuity and disaster recovery systems. The organisation’s “relatively mobile” workforce has resulted in it evaluating Skype-type tools to reduce cellular connection costs and ensure its global workforce can stay in touch with the organisation.
“Broadband mobile data costs within New Zealand and Australia are reasonable but out of those areas on a roaming basis it can be relatively expensive, so we try and avoid it and hook up through [internet calling] providers where possible.”
2006 Ranking: 4
Senior IS executive: Mike Harte, director, information technology services
Reports to: Chief operating officer
Size of IS shop: 230
Mobile PCs: 1430
Hand-held devices: 38
Total screens: 13,938
Industry: Education services
PC environment: Windows XP, Apple Mac, Linux, Toshiba, Dell, Lenovo, HP
Server environment: Novell, Unix, RedHat Linux, VMS, Windows, Apple Mac, IBM, HP, Digital Alpha, Compaq
DBMS: Oracle, SQL
Address: Leith Street, Dunedin
Key IS projects this year: FMIS project; second data centre; application migration project – all in-house corporate systems on Windows/Oracle/Java platform.
The University of Otago will continue to enhance its international reputation as a research-led organisation and has recently completed a strategic direction to 2012.
From an IT perspective, director of IT services Mike Harte says the strategic planning has identified a number of imperatives that will require IT management to better understand business needs and to closer align these to IT strategy. “A key issue is alignment. We need to understand what the organisation’s needs are going forward and what it needs in terms of IT governance and leadership — that is where we feel we can add value.”
Questions being asked include whether the university has the appropriate advisory bodies, input groups and access to customer response to help align business and IT and how to ensure IT becomes more customer driven. A further focus is IT organisational structure. Harte has started seeking ideas from all IT staff and a representative group of customers regarding how the division can be organised to best meet the needs of its customers. Harte says this process will take a while but the inclusiveness is highly popular and likely to produce the best outcome.
“It’s a little like a ‘State of the Nation’ survey: I have been in this role for two years and this is a chance for me to revisit existing perceptions and where I see IT as a division moving forward and how we are viewed and delivering. We are looking at our customers’ needs and wants and where we add value and also at obstacles to delivery. Staff are providing individual and team submissions.”
As a large New Zealand university, Harte says there are ongoing challenges around service management, including IT support, delivery, capacity and prioritisation. There is increasing demand for new and improved IT services, along with a large number of systems projects potentially important to the business. IT management is therefore seeking greater involvement of senior management in prioritisation of IT work.
Like other universities, a need to comply with the pending Public Records Act from 2010 is important and Harte says “significant IT input” will be required for this project.
For network connectivity and security, the university is also reviewing identity management and authentication, authorisation and access processes to the core network and services, particularly as a result of investigating ‘capability building’ on the KAREN research and education network. “KAREN is a wonderful tool for research but a key issue is identity management. If we want to collaborate across organisations, then we must be part of a federated identity management system that allows staff to be authenticated back through their own organisation.”
Harte says a wireless network pilot launched last year received positive feedback from students and delivers secure wireless access. “If a laptop gets a virus we can shield the servers from it. If someone tries to hack into the wireless network, they will be shut down. Wireless is a key project for us to improve service to students and we envisage having a wireless cocoon over the campus by the end of 2007; 65 per cent of our students own their own laptop.”
The university is building a second data centre. It is in the design phase and is in response to the original data centre reaching capacity plus the requirement to reduce overall business risk.
Harte says there are distributed campuses — two sites in Wellington, one in Christchurch and one in Auckland; and there is now an Invercargill campus following the merger with the Dunedin College of Education.
Connection is currently via Telecom WAN links. However, traffic between all campuses will soon be running over the KAREN network’s 10GB backbone and Harte says traditional telecommunications services are likely to be reviewed as KAREN is bedded in.
The university would like to put together an “elegant” mobile computing solution, says Harte, as it presently supports a mixture of hand-held devices on mobile networks along with academics working overseas. “Blackberry technology works very well as do the range of Windows Mobile devices. This year we are evaluating those technologies and looking for a single, cost-effective solution that we can support from an enterprise point of view.”
VoIP is being researched and while the university has distributed PABX systems, it is looking at the next generation of VoIP technology. The university has multiple sites and the benefits of VoIP may balance or outweigh the investment costs, says Harte.
2006 Ranking: 5
Senior IS executive: Mark Ratcliffe, COO, technology and enterprises
Reports to: CEO
Size of IS shop: 2250
Mobile PCs: 3670
Hand-held devices: 600
Total screens: 11,533
Industry: Information - telecommunications
PC environment: Windows XP, HP, IBM
Server environment: AIX, HP Unix, Irix, MVS, Solaris, HP Others, iSeries, pSeries, Silicon Graphics, Sun
DBMS: DB2, Oracle, SQL, Sybase
Address: Level 2, Telecom Networks House, 68-86 Jervois Quay, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: Operational separation; number portability; local loop unbundling; Next Generation Telecom – IP network rollout; Yahoo! Xtra joint venture; voice services platform replacement.
Telecom, New Zealand’s largest listed company, is undergoing significant change and strategy revision in order to drive the business forward in the new regulatory environment.
New Government telecommunications legislation announced in 2006 included proposals for operational separation of Telecom’s business into wholesale, retail and network units. It provides for unbundling of the last mile ‘local loop’ access and the sale of standalone broadband without a phone connection, known as ‘Naked DSL’.
Mark Ratcliffe, chief operating officer technology and enterprises, says Telecom’s focus is on engaging positively with Government and the wider industry in order to develop the operations, products and wholesale services that meet the requirements of the Government’s regulatory review. “Our key business objectives are to implement a sustainable, future-proof separation model that meets the requirements of the Telecommunications Act. We have proposed a structurally separated access network company that would own and operate the network assets. This would allow for a simpler separation model and faster delivery of local loop unbundling and Naked DSL. It would also allow for deregulation in other areas, enabling Telecom Retail to innovate and compete vigorously for customers, and further broadband network investment. We are consulting with Government and the wider industry on this now.”
Business challenges include developing and implementing an effective separation regime in collaboration with Government and industry, and adapting to this new operating environment. Telecom is also prioritising work streams to ensure it delivers local loop unbundling and Naked DSL as required under the new legislation. “The telecommunications industry is at a critical juncture. Telecom is obviously at the heart of the regulatory reforms being implemented. However, the changes being introduced impact the entire industry: It is critical the right incentives for investment are retained in order to further enhance telecommunications services to New Zealanders,” says Ratcliffe.
Echoing the trends offshore and locally, Ratcliffe says Telecom is also encountering supply constraints in its traditional sourcing approaches for skilled staff. “The shortage of skilled IT people we’re experiencing is similar to the dot com boom and Y2K days of seven or so years ago. This has been heightened by the volume of work required to implement critical projects including operational separation, local loop unbundling and Naked DSL.”
This year, Telecom will invest in a wide range of internal IT initiatives including ERP, business intelligence and CRM systems, server virtualisation, VoIP and mobilisation technologies, disaster recovery and e-business projects. Network de-commissioning and extension of customer product and services offerings are also planned.
Telecom is committed to continued investment in its broadband and mobile networks, after accounting for the new regulatory environment. Telecom has begun network expansion with the rollout of ADSL2+ infrastructure that will lay the foundations for Telecom to offer broadband connections with average speeds of eight to 12MBps for residential customers in the five principal metropolitan areas. Further broadband initiatives are being evaluated as part of the current separation and operational review. Telecom is also actively evaluating the potential of emerging mobile technologies for delivery of mobile voice and data.
2006 Ranking: 6
Senior IS executive: Tim Occleshaw, chief information officer
Reports to: Deputy chief executive, people capability and resources
Size of IS shop: 350
Mobile PCs: 1700
Hand-held devices: 135
Total screens: 13,235
Industry: Government and defence
PC environment: MS Windows 2002, Dell, Compaq
Server environment: HP Unix; MCP; Solaris; Windows 2000, NT; HP 9000; Unisys; Sun
DBMS: Oracle, DMS2, SQL
Address: Level 8 Bowen State Building, 32 Bowen Street, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: Client management system; management information system for CYF; new service model for Work and Income.
The Department of Child Youth and Family merged with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in mid-2006 to create an organisation of more than 9000 staff, 13,000 screens and with an annual turnover of $1.14 billion annually. However, the size of the IT team under CIO Tim Occleshaw has only increased by around 30 positions, to 350 permanent staff.
Occleshaw says the MSD is an outcomes-focused department, and one of the consequences of this is that both client and front-line staff requirements directly drive IT strategy and architecture. “We put clients at centre of everything we do and that puts some pressures on the IT systems. Our front line staff has evolved business processes and practices but IT and systems infrastructure has not been able to evolve as fast, so that’s a big challenge.”
Large IT projects for 2007 include a Client Management System pilot to be trialled among 800 users in the Bay of Plenty region and contact centres. Occleshaw says the MSD’s SWIFTT system, which manages core benefit calculations and payments, does the job well and isn’t up for replacement. However, SWIFTT is transactional in nature and not well suited to support the management of client relationships, which is where the new Client Management System (developed by Irish software developers Cúram Software) comes in.
“The Client Management System will make a significant difference to the way our staff can work with clients; allowing us to work with much better information, reducing the administration overhead, and also allowing new staff to come up to speed faster.”
Occleshaw says increasingly state sector agencies are joining together to provide better integrated services to New Zealanders. “Isn’t it better for our clients if government organisations can work together so that clients don’t have to talk to several different agencies about the same thing? But for many of us this means we have to work in new and different ways. At the moment, MSD’s infrastructure and systems don’t lend themselves particularly well to cross-government collaboration, so this is one of the drivers of our infrastructure roadmap.”
MSD’s general approach is to leverage technology to remove barriers to services and to enhance responsiveness to clients and stakeholders. Occleshaw says MSD is not seeking to reduce personal contact with customers, but to use technology to put them at the centre of what it does. Key IT activity supporting this includes the new Client Management System; greater integration of systems and joining of disparate repositories of client information into a single view of the client; evolution of integration strategy towards a service oriented architecture; and a management information system (SAS data warehouse) program for Child, Youth and Family. This aims to build managers’ capability to recognise trends, understand drivers and know what the information means, and what action they should take in response to indicators.
Occleshaw says the MSD has a knowledge management programme that will go well beyond being only a document management system. “We want to get this right – knowledge management has been a buzz phrase for a few years without being fully understood. We have an intranet which forms part of the organisation’s knowledge, together with a document management system (Objective). We are also using collaboration tools and looking at how to leverage the knowledge stored in various user based network drives.”
The MSD is a VoIP pioneer, with a fully integrated VoIP network since 2000. Recently, Genesys and Cisco-based VoIP technologies and systems have been deployed progressively across its contact centres to replace old managed services, with predictive dialling and routing tools.
MSD is moving from its mainframe systems in a careful, risk averse way, says Occleshaw, and is re-platforming and removing a system from the Unisys mainframe – the Trace system - that manages customer debt.
2006 Ranking: 8
Senior IS executive: Paul Knight, chief information officer
Reports to: Chief financial officer
Size of IS shop: 250
Mobile PCs: 1855
Hand-held devices: 287
Total screens: 8660
PC environment: Windows XP, Citrix, Dell
Server environment: OS4000; Other Unix; Windows 2003, 2000; Linux; Dell; IBM; HP
DBMS: SQL, Oracle, Progress
Address: 810 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: ERP system upgrade; IP telephony; payroll system upgrade.
Fletcher Building is a New Zealand-based building materials manufacturer and distributor comprising five major segments – infrastructure, building products, steel, distribution and laminates and panels.
Fletcher Building has a strong and growing base in Australia, Asia and the South Pacific. It employs more than 15,000 people in New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and North and South America. Recent growth has been built on a three-point strategy: Improving the reliability of earnings, maintaining and improving internal capabilities and taking up external growth options where they meet acquisition criteria. Business objectives going forward include enhancement and adaptation of the business mix through investment and operational changes.
“We will continue to invest in both internal and external opportunities, although there may be changes in emphasis from time to time. For example, we are now looking more seriously at potential acquisitions outside Australia and New Zealand,” said CEO Jonathan Ling in a recent address to shareholders. Fletcher Building is also planning continued expansion in Australia and New Zealand.
CIO Paul Knight says the business and technology strategies of Fletcher Building are well-aligned and over the coming 12 months, Fletcher Building will embark on IT projects including ERP, payroll systems, investment in VoIP technologies, wireless infrastructure and hardware upgrades.
2006 Ranking: 10
Senior IS executive: Pat O’Connell, chief information officer
Reports to: Chief executive officer
Size of IS shop: 150
Mobile PCs: 1500
Hand-held devices: 1000
Total screens: 8300
PC environment: Windows XP, Dell, IBM
Server environment: Windows 2003; Solaris; Linux; AIX;
Compaq; Dell, iSeries, pSeries; Sun
DBMS: DB2, Oracle, SQL
Address: 640 Great South Road, Manukau City, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: M&A support; legacy system migration.
Business integration and growth are on the agenda for Carter Holt Harvey — which was purchased for $NZ3.3 billion by entrepreneur Graham Hart in March 2006. A softening economy exacerbated by a challenging export market is the main challenge faced by Carter Holt Harvey, says CIO Pat O’Connell. He says new business integration and synergistic use of existing IT capability are key IT goals for the group. “Accurate information, fast information and optimised planning are all important to the business, and are processes in which IT has a significant impact.”
In the coming 12 months, Carter Holt Harvey will continue a number of upgrade projects in the areas of ERP, business intelligence and financial systems. Hardware upgrades and work on server virtualisation are also on the agenda. O’Connell says Carter Holt Harvey has not made a significant investment in VoIP to date, but this year will extend data connectivity through access to 802.11-based wireless networks and mobile technologies. The e-channel is an additional focus area, and like many organisations in this year’s MIS100, Carter Holt Harvey is planning to upgrade disaster recovery and business continuity systems.
O’Connell says all IT functions are conducted in-house with the exception of SAP development and support, which is outsourced to former Carter Holt Harvey subsidiary Oxygen Business Solutions.
Ongoing acquisition activity by Hart’s Rank group also continues to provide challenges.
“We are constantly reviewing options for synergistic integration from all aspects — operations, application portfolios, licensing, and technologies, as we bring more business under the Carter Holt Harvey umbrella,” says O’Connell.
2006 Ranking: 7
Senior IS executive: Tomasz Smaczny, chief information officer
Reports to: Graham Hodges, CEO
Size of IS shop: 500
Mobile PCs: 1800
Hand-held devices: 0
Total screens: 10,100
Industry: Finance and insurance
PC environment: Windows 2000, XP; HP; Dell
Server environment: Windows 2000, 2003; Solaris; Citrix; AIX; HP; Dell; Tandem; Stratus; Sun; IBM
DBMS: SQL, DB2, Oracle, Sybase
Address: 1-9 Victoria Street, Wellington
Website: www.anz.com/nz and www.nationalbank.co.nz
Key IS projects this year: Telling platform replacement programme; sales and service platform replacement programme; direct link platform upgrade programme.
ANZ National is New Zealand’s largest bank when it comes to customer numbers. The bank’s focus for the coming 12 months is on growing the business both in revenue and market share, with technology identified as critical to the execution of these business goals, says CIO Tomasz Smaczny.
“We must be positioned to partner and enable the business to achieve these goals. Accordingly, alignment with the business is a critical requirement for the Technology Team and we have invested considerable effort developing a Technology Business Strategy that reflects and supports delivery of the business’ goals,” says Smaczny.
The Technical Strategy of ANZ National also reflects this alignment. Smaczny says team structure follows strategy, and the technology team has recently moved to a new structure and operating model specifically designed to underpin its focus and engagement with the business. The new structure includes adoption of a business unit-oriented and portfolio approach to managing technology. This model has also been designed to encompass and deliver greater leverage of resources across the extended technology team.
“We recognise that people are the foundation of our success and have established a variety of programmes to ensure that we attract, retain and foster talented people. One such programme has been the development of clearly defined people and technical leadership streams, which provides our team members with viable options to pursue either career path,” says Smaczny.
Based on the new Technology Business Strategy, ANZ National has allocated substantial investments in its banking channels with channel IT projects for internet banking, telling, telephone banking, and call centres. These projects deliver the infrastructure that the business requires to transform its operating model, says Smaczny. Other projects include a sales and service platform replacement investment, hardware upgrades; server virtualisation and implementation of VoIP infrastructure. Business continuity and disaster recovery planning are further focus points for 2007.
The largest areas of IT project expenditure are the telling platform replacement programme, sales and service platform replacement programme and direct link platform upgrade programme.
2006 Ranking: 9
Senior IS executive: Gerrit Bahlman, chief information officer
Reports to: General manager, strategy and finance
Size of IS shop: 90
Mobile PCs: 965
Hand-held devices: 0
Total screens: 8162
Industry: Education services
PC environment: Apple Mac; Linux; Windows 2000, XP; HP; Advantage; Toshiba
Server environment: Apple Mac; Linux; VMS; Windows 2000, 2003; HP Intel-based; HP Others; IBM
DBMS: SQL, Ingres, Oracle
Address: Highway 57, Palmerston North
Key IS projects this year: Telecommunications upgrade; storage
disaster recovery; desktop standard operating environment; virtualisation
Computer Laboratory leasing refresh; consolidated printing and photocopying; online enrolment and student programme management.
Massey University has three campuses and 26 points of presence throughout New Zealand. The three major campuses in Palmerston North, Wellington and Albany, Auckland cater for some 38,000 local and international students of which approximately 18,000 students, in New Zealand and offshore, study by distance education.
The five-college structure provides a diversity of degrees, diplomas and certificates. Massey University specialises in the fields of sciences, agriculture, creative arts, humanities and social sciences, education and business. It also has the biggest business college in New Zealand.
Gerrit Bahlman, chief information officer, says Massey has a strong focus on research and research-led teaching and encouraging success at a postgraduate level. Leading edge research is undertaken on all three campuses and the University has invested in equipment in support of its commitment to research. This includes high-performance computing, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry, advanced research data networking and a variety of collaboration technologies. A major upgrade of the core network of the University has just been completed and rollout of a consolidated printing and photocopying environment is currently underway. A full refresh of all undergraduate computer laboratory equipment is scheduled for the middle of the year.
While Massey does selectively outsource a number of IT function areas, Bahlman says there is growing concern that outsource suppliers are stretched and unable to provide the level of service necessary to pursue such strategies. He says mergers and acquisitions result in smaller, highly-focused providers being swallowed within larger cultures that do not understand the nature of the business. This introduces risk into the outsource environment.
“The larger the IT provider, the further removed their management is from context sensitive service delivery. In general, the quality of service provision lowers as the size of the IT provider increases. Large organisations cannot provide an intimate long-term understanding of their smaller customer needs,” says Bahlman.
Massey University has just completed an in-house redevelopment of its student management system. As with most educational institutions, the online environment continues to be an important channel and services include full registration, record information access, online payment and universal email. Internal administration on the web provides academic and general staff with access to online support structures and services.
A major project underway is the redevelopment, extension and integration of Massey University’s online enrolment capabilities, with student programme management facilities. Bahlman says this replaces an innovative but aging existing web enrolment capability.
Other key IT projects in 2007 include a telecommunications refresh, disaster recovery focus, and moves toward a desktop standard operating environment. Massey University will also embark on a financial systems upgrade, and investigate CRM and VoIP technologies. Efficiencies gained through server virtualisation and consolidation strategies will also be extended.
Bahlman says IT area concerns going forward include staffing and workforce planning in the face of a labour market skills shortage, and emerging and existing issues surrounding data security.
2006 Ranking: 13
Senior IS executive: David Morrison, manager IT
Reports to: Managing director
Size of IS shop: 64
Mobile PCs: 100
Hand-held devices: 400
Total screens: 4400
Industry: Wholesale and retail trade
PC environment: Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, CE; Compaq/HP
Server environment: OS4000; Unix SVR4; Windows NT, 2000, XP; Compaq; iSeries; NCR
DBMS: DB2, Oracle, SQL, Teradata
Address: 80 Favona Road, Mangere, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Systems integration.
A focus on sales, customer services and integration of IT systems are key priorities for Progressive Enterprises in 2007.
Acquired by Woolworths Australia in 2006, Progressive Enterprises continues to seek to leverage synergies in New Zealand with the new parent company.
David Morrison, IT manager for Progressive, says significant improvements are to be expected in the supply chain as a result of implementing Woolworths’ supply chain systems. From these changes IT will help their primary customer – the supermarkets – to deliver competitive advantage to Progressive Enterprises.
The support of senior management for IT, along with the necessity of an upgrade following the acquisition, is reflected in the IT project line-up for Progressive over the coming 12 months.
Progressive Enterprises is a light outsourcer, outsourcing IT education, some applications development and HR payroll.
2006 ranking: 12
Senior IS executive: Julia Raue, CIO
Reports to: Rob McDonald, CFO
Size of IS shop: 187
Industry: Transport and warehousing
Mobile PCs: 320
Hand-held devices: 120
Total screens: 6416
PC environment: Windows XP, Dell, IBM
Server environment: Windows 2003, Solaris, Linux, Sun, IBM, HP
DBMS: Oracle, SQL
Address: Level 19 Quay Tower, 29 Customs Street West, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Not disclosed.
In the face of increasing competition, concerns over the environmental impact of air travel, and variable travel and tourism trends, the IT services supporting Air New Zealand must by necessity remain dynamic and flexible.
The ICT team is composed of 187 staff dedicated to delivering continual operational performance improvements to the airline, particularly in the customer facing areas of online and airport self service experience, says immediate past CIO Alastair Grigg.
New CIO Julia Raue took over in April from Grigg. Grigg, who was interviewed for this year’s MIS100, says Air New Zealand has had huge growth in online bookings and is now re-setting targets around that and looking to provide even more capability and functionality for customers online. “There is also a need for improvement in the airport experience and the speed and ease at which people can move through [Air New Zealand systems at] airports,” he says.
Towards this, Air New Zealand is investing in improvements for better redundancy of systems, crucially important in an age where airports are resourced and organised on the basis of automated systems.
Other goals include revenue growth, and fleet and airline capacity growth, and the development of IT systems that better support travel agents, global distribution retailers and online travel agencies.
“Our e-channel strategy is diverse and not without complexity; we need to ensure all our flights and prices are well represented on any online travel sites,” says Grigg.
The Air New Zealand website, a critical sales and customer service channel for the airline, is constantly monitored and improved to enable customers to find information easily and conveniently, says Grigg. He says searches that return schedule results showing flights three days before and after the date specified, and an ability to book and pay ‘Air Dollars’ airfares online are appreciated by customers. But these functionalities require innovative and complex development of back-end systems.
Greater broadband adoption in New Zealand and abroad will help deliver Air New Zealand a larger target market of online users who respond well to a rich online user interface, including greater multimedia content, says Grigg. Air New Zealand is also developing software to automate re-bookings and cancellations and to help customers make re-booking choices online.
Air New Zealand has trialed SMS alerts for customer notification and communication and Grigg says while early trials were not widely adopted, the airline is looking at revising and re-launching the service because of its potential to instantly notify customers of important changes to flight and travel information if they cannot be reached by phone.
Key IT projects for Air New Zealand for the next 12 months include server virtualisation which Grigg says delivers a good return on investment despite the associated challenge of de-commissioning server environments no longer required. Cisco-based VoIP technologies will also be extended throughout Air New Zealand’s corporate head office and to other locations, as will Air New Zealand owned wireless network services in airline facilities including the KoruCare lounges in airports.
Air New Zealand outsources IT functions including host maintenance, IT education, elements of application development and PC maintenance to Dell or IBM. Backup and data centre services are delivered by IBM, network management and help desk services by Gen-i.
2006 ranking: 11
Senior IS executive: Ross Hughson, chief information officer
Reports to: Colin McDonald, deputy commissioner business development and systems
Size of IS shop: 320
Mobile PCs: 1066
Hand-held devices: 200
Total screens: 8939
Industry: Government and defence
PC environment: Linux, Windows 2000, Acer, Dell, HP, IBM, Sun
Server environment: Linux; MCP; Novell; Solaris; Windows 2000, Server 2003; Dell; HP Others; Unisys
DBMS: Access, DMS, Oracle, Progress
Address: 12-22 Hawkestone Street, Thorndon, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: KiwiSaver supporting systems; internal and external correspondence imaging; VoIP network and Genesys call centre system; systems to support student loans changes for amnesty and zero interest.
Inland Revenue Department has a busy year ahead thanks to Government commitments like the KiwiSaver and the student loan amnesty period and zero-interest scheme — examples of legislative changes that drive demand for new systems and extra flexibility and competency within the IRD IT team.
CIO Ross Hughson says in addition to these, IRD has a full ICT projects schedule for including upgrading and modernising core legacy applications like FIRST. Developed in the late ‘80s, FIRST is fast approaching 20 years and modernising this legacy application along with others will help deliver better business agility in a demanding legislative change environment.
Hughson says another challenge is continually working with the business to leverage existing information so that IR can be better informed and deliver on its outcomes. “How do we leverage off the information we hold in our data warehouse more successfully than we do at present? There is very good information in there that we could use to better assist customers with compliance and to help staff identify cases of non-compliance.”
IRD also has a lot to gain from the e-channel and developed a new e-business strategy in 2006 to help deliver on targets including the online processing of 80 per cent of IRD transactions within five-years (the present rate is 20 per cent.) Hughson says IRD is comfortable with the ‘e-enablement’ services it offers, but hasn’t marketed these to customers and education and promotion is required to build customer confidence. “Lots of countries are looking at the electronic benefits of online tax payments and access to information; we plan to drive that uptake over the next few years. The more we can expose services online, the more streamlined the whole process can be.”
He says this approach is also in line with Government e-strategies, and IR is keen to collaborate with the e-channel goals of other government departments. IRD is also redeveloping its intranet to improve internal efficiency and access to information, and to automate staff internal processes.
2006 ranking: 23
Senior IS executive: Liz Gosling, director IT services
Reports to: General manager, service and operations
Size of IS shop: 70
Mobile PCs: 1103
Hand-held devices: 396
Total screens: 7191
Industry: Education services
PC environment: Apple Mac, Windows XP, Linux, Cyclone Computers, Toshiba, Apple, Lenovo, IBM
Server environment: Linux, Novell, Windows 2000; Apple, Cyclone Computers
DBMS: Oracle, MySQL, SQL
Address: 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Web portals; CRM; infrastructure upgrades; information architecture.
Following a rewrite of its strategic plan in 2006, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) now has five key objectives for the next five years: Providing excellent education, conducting excellent research, actively engaging with communities, attracting and retaining excellent staff, and effectively managing its resources.
Liz Gosling, director IT services, says AUT’s focus is always on practical applied education, enabling opportunities in the modern professions and disciplines of today’s economy. Challenges include the need to maintain and grow student numbers in a tight education market, driven by low unemployment in New Zealand. Gosling says it is also a challenge to maintain technical support that is robust, easy to implement and cost effective.
The following key IT groups report to Gosling: The Client Services team, which is responsible for first and second-line support, training and audio-visual equipment; an Information Systems team focused on projects and system integration; a Technology Services group forming third-line, back room server, and telecommunications infrastructure support; and an on-site digital printing copy shop called PrintSprint.
Gosling says AUT is a large purchaser of telecommunications and as a result has been able to negotiate satisfying commercial deals with core telecommunications’ supplier TelstraClear. However, she says what’s important to AUT is access to e-learning and that is dependant on home broadband performance. “Cheap, good quality broadband available to New Zealand homes is vital to us; we can then deliver content-rich course content over our e-learning platform. What we can deliver at 56Kbps or less is less engaging.”
Key projects for 2007 include business intelligence, CRM and financial software upgrades. AUT is also committed to the cost savings afforded through server virtualisation and VoIP technologies and has implemented an organisation-wide Cisco VoIP System.
Wireless and mobile services are being extended and Gosling says AUT has around 70 Blackberry devices that it finds simple to support. On the e-business front, AUT is changing the structure of its key website from ‘one size fits all’ to separate portals — one for staff and students, and a transactional portal.
2006 ranking: 19
Senior IS executive: John Vargo, interim director information and communication technology
Reports to: Chief operating officer
Size of IS shop: 130
Mobile PCs: 700
Hand-held devices: 50
Total screens: 6150
Industry: Education services
PC environment: Windows XP, Linux, Apple Mac OS, Cyclone, Toshiba, Insite
Server environment: Windows 2003, Linux, Sun, VMS , HP, IBM, Apple
DBMS: Oracle RDB, SQL, Jade, Sybase, PeopleSoft
Address: University Drive, Ilam, Christchurch
Key IS projects this year: New data centre; super computing; hardware refreshments; server consolidation; equipping and restructure of central print production.
The University of Canterbury has merged with the Christchurch College of Education (CCE), a lengthy process that necessitated the integration and rationalisation of IT systems along with logistical and administrative integration of sites and resources, says John Vargo, interim director of information and communication technology for the University of Canterbury.
A key project is the development of a new data centre, to be located on the new University of Canterbury College of Education (UCCE) campus. Planning is underway, with the new data centre expected to be available in 2008. At that point, the existing data centre will be used as a second site to support disaster recovery strategies and the University will initiate a larger programme of server consolidation, says Vargo.
Like most tertiary providers, leveraging the international high-speed KAREN research network to provide fast broadband connection for researchers, campus students, distance learners and university sites is high on the wish list for the University of Canterbury. Vargo says “fat pipes” are important, particularly with the extension of campus size through the University’s merger with the former UCCE. Towards this, the University of Canterbury has started a campus data network upgrade, with plans to progressively extend on-site network performance to a peak of 10GB/sec. Vargo says the upgraded network will also help deliver video-based, distance learning tools already used by the UCCE as well as video conferencing. “There will be more extensive video conferencing and a whole range of other initiatives – really, we are just getting started.”
IT projects for 2007 include assessment of document and knowledge management needs with a view to Public Records Act compliance, and continued rollout of 802.11-based technologies as needed. The university has also issued an RFI with a view to outsourcing telecommunications products and services, and to review mobile technologies and mobile services strategy. Web-facing channels are in the spotlight, with new e-commerce and e-business sites under development.
2006 Ranking: 17
Senior IS executive: Rohan Mendis, ICT manager
Reports to: Deputy commissioner
Size of IS shop: 252
Mobile PCs: 1000
Hand-held devices: 100
Total screens: 6800
Industry: Government and defence
PC environment: Windows XP, Dell, Lenovo
Server environment: Sun, Windows 2000, Dell
DBMS: DB2, Oracle, SQL
Address: 180 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: Digital encrypted radio; hardware refresh; case management system upgrade.
Public perception of the quality of policing is a key challenge faced by NZ Police in 2007 and beyond. Meeting this, NZ Police has three strategic goals to 2010: Community reassurance through providing protection and opportunities for community participation, setting local priorities, and working in partnership with other organisations; policing with confidence using evidence-based proactive policing, timely and effective response for service, and thorough investigations and effective resolution of crime; and organisational development through technology and innovation, integrity and accountability, and providing leadership and staff development.
“We need real leaders in Police and we need them to be [rock solid] in terms of integrity and accountability that then feeds into community reassurance,” says Rohan Mendis, ICT manager.
ICT systems and innovation cut across all the above key goals, and in 2007 the Police ICT team is focused on staff training and education surrounding the use of new and existing ICT systems and devices. “Our methods of training are also being revised – for example, we are investigating training models like taking the classroom to the staff.”
Mobile access to core operational applications is another focus, and subject to finance, Police will pilot a wireless LAN and invest more widely in cellular mobile technologies, digital radio, and voice and data wireless networks. The goal is to make applications available in Police stations available on car computers, and eventually on secured PDAs.
Mendis says server virtualisation will continue, with a goal of 80 per cent of Police application servers eventually virtualised – it is already a third of the way towards this goal. VoIP technologies are also viewed favourably, with more than 3300 phones installed and another 7000 to go. Mendis says voice and video run well over the Police data network using Cisco multi-service network technologies. Police also recently upgraded its communications centre, internal help desk and traffic camera office call centre with multimedia-capable applications.
2006 Ranking: 15
Senior IS executive: Tony West, chief information officer
Reports to: General manager, corporate services
Size of IS shop: 60
Mobile PCs: 205
Total screens: 7915
Industry: Government and defence
PC environment: Linux, Windows XP, HP, Intel-based clone or OEM, Toshiba
Server environment: Linux; Solaris; Windows 2000, 2003, NT; Unisys; Dell; HP Others
DBMS: Jade, Oracle, Unisys RDMS, SQL
Address: Level 4, NZ Post House, 7-27 Waterloo Quay, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: Operator rating system; performance monitoring system; Unisys outsourcing.
Land Transport was formed in 2004 from the merger of Transfund New Zealand and the Land Transport Safety Authority. It is a significant user of information technology with nearly 8000 screens and an IT team of 60.
“Information and effective business systems are key to Land Transport New Zealand achieving its strategic goals,” says Tony West, chief information officer. “We are a knowledge-based organisation and the key to operational success is to enhance our use of that knowledge.”
West says while organisational direction and business strategies are reasonably well understood within the information systems and technology group, further work is required to ensure both strategies are more closely aligned. “We are still building IT governance structures, which take some bedding down, and we are continuing through the business planning process along with implementing new enterprise architecture.”
He says government policy changes “always create surprises”, and the IT service arms of government departments driven by legislation can not foresee all IT systems and services required in the future.
“Big blocks” of work for Land Transport for the next year include changes to support new Transport Operator licensing legislation, a system that looks at all transport operators and operations, and is part of the implementation of the rating system that targets information to allocate resources to risk. Land Transport will also make a significant investment in VoIP to coincide with new premises, and complete a document management system project designed to support knowledge management processes within Land Transport.
Land Transport is also seeking to make more transaction services available online. It is also about to finish a project with NZ Post that allows for online Land Transport NZ payments and renewals at NZ Post desktop counters via n-tier architecture.
2006 ranking 14
Senior IS executive: Clayton Wakefield, head of technology and operations
Reports to: Hugh Burrett, managing director, ASB
Size of IS shop: 450
Mobile PCs: 1100
Hand-held devices: 100
Total screens: 7200
Industry: Finance and insurance
PC environment: Windows 2000, XP; Acer; Dell; Toshiba
Server environment: MCP; Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, NT, XP; Dell, HP, others
DBMS: DMS, SQL
Address: Level 28, ASB Bank Centre, 135 Albert Street, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: KiwiSaver, internet business banking.
Online banking security performance and business banking services are major focuses for the ASB Group in 2007 and beyond.
Business challenges faced by the group include the competitive nature of the industry and market fluctuations, which can affect lending volumes and interest margins. CIO Clayton Wakefield says the IT team, systems and initiatives underway are well placed to meet these challenges head-on.
Online projects include a new internet banking service called Fastnet Business Banking, which allows businesses to conduct banking transactions over the internet securely and in real-time.
ASB is an innovator in online security and Wakefield says ASB was the first bank to introduce two-factor authentication technologies. ASB online banking users enter a user ID and login password but can also receive a special code via text or a token device to authorise larger transactions beyond a limit the customer determines. “As internet use becomes more pervasive, we are focused on appropriate levels of security for our customers balanced with convenience, cost and risk. Our customers recognise the benefits of extra security.”
As a default provider for KiwiSaver, ASB faces a significant upgrade of ICT systems and software to support the scheme and Wakefield says this is the bank’s most significant IT project for 2007. Other key IT projects include refined business intelligence and data warehouse tools. Treasury system replacement is also on the investment plan and the bank’s CRM system will be enhanced and continue to be integrated into all systems. Cost and operational benefits around server virtualisation are also being investigated.
ASB is pleased with the benefits it has realised from installing a full VoIP network using Cisco Call Manager, says Wakefield. These include reduced toll costs, the introduction of video, unified messaging, distributed call centres and the creation of a ‘single environment’ across the bank’s 150 dispersed sites.
ASB has no plans to implement 802.11 wireless technologies but continues to expand its use of cellular mobile network service for remote workers.
2006 Ranking: 21
Senior IS executive: Paul Tait, chief information officer
Reports to: Chris Bayliss, general manager technology and operations
Size of IS shop: 300
Mobile PCs: 1685
Hand-held devices: 1268
Total screens: 7338
Industry: Finance and insurance
PC environment: Apple Mac; OS/2; Desktop Unix; Windows 2000, XP; Dell; IBM
Server environment: AIX; HP Unix; SCO Unix; Sun; Windows 2000, 2003; HP Intel-based; xSeries, iSeries, zSeries
DBMS: DB2, Informix, Oracle, SQL, Sybase
Address: State Insurance House, 16 Willis Street, Wellington
Key IS projects this year: Re-use of components through service oriented architecture; strengthening online and mobile banking capabilities.
Strategic priorities for the Bank of New Zealand in 2007 include building retail banking presence through excellent service. This will be achieved through offering customers new and unique ways to save money on fees and mortgage interest, as well as ways to earn higher interest on deposits.
“We’ll also be looking at ways to streamline the customer banking experience further, making it easier, cheaper, and faster to bank with us. Our latest offering ‘TotalMoney’ encompasses all of these things and based on the extremely positive response we’ve had from new and existing customers, it’s the packaged solution they’ve been waiting for,” says CIO Paul Tait.
Tait says a key business challenge for the BNZ is in creating the ability to be as nimble as smaller niche banking players. “However in saying that, our success at the Cannex Banking Awards shows that not only are we the best value for money in terms of the large banks, but our home lending, personal lending, and credit cards offerings are strongly competitive with anything available on the market.”
The regulatory moves afoot in respect of unbundling and opening up the Telecom network, as well as portability, are all positive and will enable improved service opportunities for the BNZ, says Tait. “The other major challenge is the cost of mobile termination fees as a result of the high interconnect fees that are being passed on to customers. These significantly threaten the profitability of pushing our services online at costs customers will find acceptable. For example, it is expensive to preserve free calling into our 0800 numbers for account enquiries from mobile phones. Some innovative thought is required to continue to deliver cost effective personal mobility for customers, something we are working on presently.”
2006 ranking: 22
Senior IS executive: Phil Brimacombe, chief information officer
Reports to: CEOs of Waitemata and Manukau DHBs and healthAlliance COO
Size of IS shop: 98
Mobile PCs: 350
Hand-held devices: 0
Total screens: 5350
Industry: Health and community services
PC environment: Windows XP, HP
Server environment: Linux; Windows 2003, Windows 2000, Windows NT; Solaris; AIX; HP Intel-Based; Sun Microsystems, IBM RS/6000
DBMS: Oracle, MS SQL
Address: Middlemore Hospital, Otahuhu, Auckland
Key IS projects this year: Mental health clinical information system; chronic care clinical information system; electronic referrals; electronic medication record.
Responsible for providing IT strategy, operations and services to two Auckland District Health Boards — Waitemata and Counties Manukau — healthAlliance takes a long-term strategic view of the needs of both DHBs, says CIO Phil Brimacombe.
To support the two DHBs, healthAlliance develops and deploys clinical information systems that provide valuable information for both primary and secondary healthcare providers. Brimacombe says there is a need to reduce fragmented and paper-based information systems and continually develop and provide an integrated information view. That way, clinicians can get one view of the patient’s radiology reports, outpatient notes, test results and notes from other clinicians involved in that patient’s care. “For example, it’s very important to get the health of children right as the health problems of early life tend to become more complicated later in life. We developed the Well Child information system, which went on to become the national immunisation system, and want to expand that further to electronically capture and integrate more Well Child information and involving external providers such as Plunket.”
The three greater Auckland region DHBs are jointly implementing a mental health information system. It will eventually be linked to GPs and other providers so decisions on mental health care are not made in isolation. Similar integrated information developments are in place or in development for community health workers.
“A lot of people don’t need to be in a hospital and instead receive care from community health workers like district health nurses and physiotherapists or occupational therapists. At the moment a lot of the information these workers gather is manual and paper-based,” says Brimacombe.
healthAlliance will soon embark on a business intelligence project to deliver better financial information to DHB managers and on a large server virtualisation project. Brimacombe says healthAlliance finds virtualisation “quite challenging” due to the complex clinical applications the DHBs use. “It’s quite easy for organisations with off-the-shelf applications to virtualise, but our highly specialised applications demand their own quirky hardware. That said, we have to do it because we have hundreds of servers.”