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Stories by Keith Newman

Keeping it reel

Rather than railing against Government IT belt tightening, industry veteran Channa Jayasinha urges his peers to get on board with the new shared services paradigm and make a difference while they can.
There is now greater pressure to do more with less, than there has been in the 26 years he has held senior public sector IT roles, says Jayasinha. With the current recession, Jayasinha says CIOs need to surround themselves with the best team possible, build trust and collaborate with other government agencies, rather than operating in silos.

Written by Keith Newman30 Oct. 10 22:00

Financial sea change

Technology will transform organisations over the next five years, with the challenge for New Zealand business being to ensure their core systems are stable, flexible and up to the task.
As well, CEOs and boards of directors must be convinced of the need to replace legacy systems so staff can work more efficiently — a daunting task that is still considered a potential career breaker for CFOs and CIOs.

Written by Keith Newman11 Oct. 08 22:00

A clear eye for the Far North

The Far North District Council has a more refined grasp on where it’s going, now that decision makers are able to visually monitor business goals and outcomes using a financial dashboard linked to its core systems.
Rather than trying to make sense of pages of numbers, managers responsible for projects across the widely diverse region have an instant graphical overview of the state of play — including ‘warning lights’ if targets are missed or for upcoming obstacles.

Written by Keith Newman15 Sept. 08 22:00

Feud? What feud?

Heads of finance and IT departments need to raise the level of their conversation beyond spreadsheets and infrastructure and find a way to jointly look at process improvements that can add value to the company.
In times of IT disasters the finger often points straight to the IT department, regardless of who signed off on the system, escalating the blame game between CFOs and CIOs. Typically fuelling the feud, is the failure of finance to understand what they’re getting into and the reluctance of IT to communicate at a business level.

Written by Keith Newman08 June 08 22:00

New terrain

The view of technology departments beavering away in the basement on arcane projects, outside of annual budget constraints and beyond the knowledge of the finance department, is rapidly dissipating as IT is forced to become a profit centre.
In reality, the financial department has probably been as phobic of the unintelligible acronyms of the IT world as the IT department has been of their cryptic number crunching clique. Now both disciplines are being forced to speak a common language - the language of business.

Written by Keith Newman30 April 05 22:00

The bioterrorism fallout

The US government's Public Health and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 redefined requirements for importers and triggered moves worldwide to adopt similar legislation effectively requiring supply chains to become more transparent.
The tough new compliance regime was put into place in the US in mid-2004 and similar measures are due to be implemented in the European Union from 1 January 2005. In New South Wales, the state government has also announced new legislation to regulate the food industry.

Written by Keith Newman30 Oct. 04 21:00

Vintage advice

Prior to 1999, then Montana Wines had a range of disparate applications with finance, distribution and sales reporting on separate systems. It knew it needed a more efficient information flow to prepare for growth.
It chose enterprise management system provider Intentia and its Movex ERP suite to expand its forecasting, production and resource allocation capabilities. This was implemented across its New Zealand and Australian operations.

Written by Keith Newman30 Oct. 04 21:00

Strategic spin-offs

Carter Holt Harvey (CHH), New Zealand’s largest pulp and paper products manufacturer, faced serious challenges at the turn of the millennium. Costs were up, profits were down and market conditions were tough.
It began a massive re-engineering process in 2001 to increase innovation, deliver greater accountability and reduce an unacceptably high level of IT consumption by 20 to 30 per cent.

Written by Keith Newman30 Sept. 04 22:00

Police rescue

The smart policing technology promised to the New Zealand public a decade ago is finally becoming a reality, allowing New Zealand Police to walk out from under the shadow of embarrassment cast by the aborted Incis project.
Incis (Integrated National Crime Information System) was the biggest cock-up in New Zealand IT history. The cure-all crime fighting system from fantasyland ended up overblown, overdue and over budget, resulting in a government versus IBM lawsuit and strict new accountability rules for all public sector IT projects.

Written by Keith Newman30 June 04 22:00

Primary colours

The new IT supremo at The Warehouse Group is knee-deep in a review aimed at promoting greater synergies between the trans-Tasman operations of its chain of discount sheds. Owen McCall has some major decisions ahead, as he backgrounds himself and conducts an evaluation of current capabilities, market pressures and repositioning technology to prepare for future competitive challenges.
As new group chief information officer, he is responsible for smartening up the technology operations of The Warehouse’s ‘red sheds’ and Warehouse Stationery’s ‘blue sheds’ in New Zealand, as well as the Australian-based ‘yellow sheds’.

Written by Keith Newman31 March 04 22:00

An accountant’s dream

Both Mark McHugh and Andrew Morrow knew technology could distract from their core business when they set up AMPM Calling in 2001. As former chief executive of Datacraft and one-time general manager of Eftpos New Zealand, they had been there before.
The Wellington-based company’s entry into the call centre market came after the realisation they could relieve businesses of the burden of investment in call centre technology and staff training.

Written by Keith Newman30 Sept. 03 22:00

Billion dollar broadband

The growing high-speed data needs of multinational corporate and government clients are the reason three satellites, each weighing six metric tonnes, are expected to come into service in the first quarter of 2005.

Written by Keith Newman30 June 03 22:00