Stories by Divina Paredes

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

The blogger CIO

Owen McCall, chief information officer of The Warehouse, gained a new title early this year: Wage slave. But that is only for his blog,, which features “thought pieces on issues that are exercising my mind”, tackling both ICT and personal concerns.
McCall says he ventured into blogosphere following his interest in the hype around blogs, wikis, social networks and virtual words and their relevance, if any, to the corporate world. “It seemed to me the only way to really get to know something about them was to actively participate.”

Written by Divina Paredes02 Dec. 08 22:00

Seamless spaces

Early this year, the offices of the Auckland office of systems integrator Gen-i were gutted, to make way for the move to a new office — in the same building.
When the employees returned, the cubicles of old and the warren of rooms were gone. In place were open-plan areas with desks that can be used by anyone, ‘quiet rooms’ that can be used for up to two hours, meeting rooms and phone booths.

Written by Divina Paredes01 Dec. 08 22:00

A game-plan for diversity

Maria Martinez joined Bell Labs after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico.
At that time, Martinez, now corporate vice-president of Microsoft Services, could count on both hands female colleagues working in ICT. She watched as the ratio of women in ICT improved, as more entered the sector through computer science and electrical engineering degrees.

Written by Divina Paredes29 Nov. 08 22:00

LINZ CIO retires next month

Tony Lester is leaving chief information officer role at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ), after four and a half years.
Lester, a member of CIO magazine’s editorial advisory board, says he will stay in his post until January.

Written by Divina Paredes29 Nov. 08 22:00

Catch me if you can

Air New Zealand is rolling out a series of technology projects that will include high-tech kiosks, gate scanners, RFID and boarding passes delivered via mobile phones for its domestic flights.
The technology upgrade aims to allow passengers to move quickly and seamlessly through domestic airports by minimising queues, cutting waiting time and making check-in and boarding as quick and easy as possible.

Written by Divina Paredes26 Oct. 08 22:00

Rock and roll IT

Managing IT often seems like managing the affairs of a rock band, with its curious mix of creative talent, volatile personalities, and lots of gear.

Written by Divina Paredes04 Oct. 08 22:00

Building a global footprint

Management by walking around (MBWA) is a big part of Mainfreight, and critical in the success of the ICT team, declares Kevin Drinkwater, chief information officer of the supply chain logistics provider.
“One of our great philosophies is to visit our branches to gain an understanding of the business at the branch and finding out the issues that our team members have. So we watch what they are doing and ask them whether the systems do what they need. It has been amazing the improvements we have managed to create out of team members’ problems.

Written by Divina Paredes14 Sept. 08 22:00

Ticket to rise

For three years, Simon Conroy’s career straddled the worlds of business and rock and roll.
Conroy, chief information officer of Flight Centre, was project manager at Freedom Air when he joined the rock band Redline as its bass guitarist.

Written by Divina Paredes13 July 08 22:00