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Stories by Divina Paredes

Confessions of a non-techie boss

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”.

Written by Divina Paredes09 July 09 22:00

CIOs thrive on extreme obstacle course

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.

Written by Divina Paredes05 July 09 22:00

Doctor in the house

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.

Written by Divina Paredes24 June 09 22:00

Object lessons

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”.

Written by Divina Paredes19 April 09 22:00

Agile path to the top

"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.

Written by Divina Paredes13 April 09 22:00

Reduced risk exposure with multiple outsourcing

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’.

Written by Divina Paredes10 April 09 22:00

Innovation amid disruption and change

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.

Written by Divina Paredes08 April 09 22:00

The right stuff 03032009

“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.

Written by Divina Paredes02 March 09 22:00

The good, the bad and the useful

“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.

Written by Divina Paredes28 Feb. 09 22:00

A clear vision for a rapid rollout

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.

Written by Divina Paredes16 Feb. 09 22:00

Doing better with less

“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.

Written by Divina Paredes14 Feb. 09 22:00

Reinventing retirement

“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.

Written by Divina Paredes14 Feb. 09 22:00

‘Think like a CFO’

How does your CFO view ICT? What is the best way to get their attention? Richard Paik regularly talks to CFOs across industries as director of finance, Microsoft New Zealand. He shares his insights on CIO-CFO relationships.
Be key partners: CFOs are feeling a lot of pressure in today’s economy. As the market retracts and companies fight for a seemingly smaller pie, we’re asked to help grow the business, improve productivity and drive compliance, all with fewer resources. CIOs are a key partner in enabling us to be successful.

Written by Divina Paredes13 Feb. 09 22:00

Fail now, succeed later

For optimum success, encourage failure.
A contradiction in terms, yes, but Steve Prentice, vice president of analyst firm Gartner, says this is one strategy for enterprises to consider in the current economic environment.

Written by Divina Paredes09 Feb. 09 22:00

The art of giving

Vivian Chandra never forgets that a person living in a country with scant regard for democracy could get jailed for doing the job she does.
As IT manager for Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand, Chandra runs the information technology side of the human rights organisation, but is also active in its campaigns.

Written by Divina Paredes06 Dec. 08 22:00