The next four years will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for success or failure, says John Gantz, IDC vice president, in his keynote speech at the start of this year's CIO Summit in Auckland.
Stories by Divina Paredes
Julia Raue says ICT is recognised across the entire Air New Zealand as critical to the business, and this plays a crucial role in their successful projects in the online space and customer self service that are earning accolades across the globe.
“IT-enabled business transformation has ensured Air New Zealand remains competitive, that is something we are incredibly proud of ” says Raue, who received the award at this year’s CIO Summit organised by CIO, IDC and BrightStar.
Few organisations can remain unscathed in this difficult economy. Thus, we wanted to find out how the economic slowdown is impacting the organisations in this year’s MIS100.
We asked the CIOs of the country’s top ICT using operations how the economic slowdown has affected three areas — their ICT budgets, projects and staffing levels (see graph A below).
Trelise Cooper recalls the time when her fashion business had 20 staff and only one PC.
Today, says Cooper, whose clothes are worn by celebrities across the globe, “IT is used in every part of the business”.
They crossed swamps, climbed a rope, crawled under barb wire and tackled natural and man-made obstacles over a distance of 12 kilometres.
However, Pat O’ Connell and Jonathan Iles, CIOs, respectively, of Rank Group and its subsidiary Carter Holt Harvey, are undeterred.
Ron Hooton left the New Zealand Defence Force in 2005 after four years as its first chief information officer and moved to a much different sector, and another role — as CEO of ProCare Health.
From leading a 200-plus IT department, Hooton now heads an organisation with around 500 general practitioners (GPs) and nearly 400 nurses across 173 practice teams, taking care of more than 660,000 patients.
They say if you can remember the ‘60s, you weren’t really there.
Mary Ann Maxwell was there and has recollections of those years. “I spent too much time in San Francisco,” she says, with a laugh. With flowers in her hair? “Exactly”.
"Stay away from IT." This may seem somewhat unusual advice from Mark Baker, who was a CIO, then general manager and programme director at Foodstuffs Auckland.
His admonition, however, is around the context of how a CIO can ease the transition to heading a line of business.
Working with multiple partners is a reality for a number of networked enterprises, but this also exposes them to some risks.
“If you don’t work together [with] who is doing what, then you can either have the gap or the double up,” says Terry Shubkin, head of operations, Unisys New Zealand. “Something goes wrong and everyone says and points their fingers in a different direction and say, ‘but it was their [the other party’s or parties’] responsibility to do that’.
Enterprises still underestimate the impact of social networks and social media, says Laef Olson, CIO of RightNow Technologies.
“Sure, we use LinkedIn and Facebook and maybe even dabble in Twitter, but those of us who are digital immigrants have only begun to recognise how this new ‘connectedness’ has transformed the culture, particularly for digital natives,” says Olson, when asked on his view on the technology that would make the most profound impact on the enterprise.
“The data for my reports was on hand, but there was no automated way to generate the output I needed.”
David Hurst was in just this situation while working on a complex enterprise architecture project at a large multinational company in the US.
“You know more about technology than a lot of people in our business,” confesses Russell Stanners, CEO of Vodafone New Zealand, to a group of high school students in South Auckland.
His audience was some 30 students at the Youth Technology Forum at James Cook High School in Manurewa.
Specsavers opened 11 stores in New Zealand late in 2008, with plans to have 30 stores operating locally by the end of the year. In 2010 it aims to open more stores, says Simon Baxter, director of IT, Asia Pacific, of the global optical group.
This rapid rollout is facilitated by its agreement with Reliance Globalcom, which designs, implements and manages Specsavers’ global wide area network (WAN). This network currently connects more than 1100 stores in nine countries.
“Whoever said that there was ‘life’ in a lifestyle block was joking – it is all work,” says Tony Lester, who recently retired as CIO of Land Information New Zealand.
Lester is referring to the work situation he is facing as he leaves LINZ, where he was CIO for four-and-a-half years.
“It’s not about doing more with less, but rather doing ‘better with less’,” notes John Brand, research director for IT industry analyst firm Hydrasight, on the key issue facing CIOs in the coming year.
His comments stem from the results of Hydrasight surveys among CIOs across Australia and New Zealand completed in late 2008, in which CIOs shared their perception on their roles, where they are heading in the next 12 months and their barriers to success.