“At the core of the relationship between an accountant and a business is - trust. Trust that you'll be given correct accounts, the right advice and that your most closely held financial and organisational data will be given all due care and responsibility,” says James Dickinson, CIO of BDO New Zealand. It is this backdrop that BDO New Zealand embarked on an ambitious programme of enhancing its cyber defences and controls, says Dickinson.
Finance / Interviews
“Our ethos is ‘learn fast and adapt’,” says Craig Bunyan, says of the technology team at ANZ Bank.
This is the largest reshaping of technology that Bank of New Zealand has gone through in the last decade, says Aaron Toatelegese, as he describes his team’s work over the past year.
The CIO of insurance company Cigna, Carmen Casagranda, says the future of insurance is undergoing competitive disruption and growth in customer expectations. As such, the company embarked on a company-wide transformation programme.
Our most important business transformation project completed over the past 12 months has been the transition from traditional hosting, using third-party VPS providers for our software as a service product, to 100 per cent cloud-based hosting, using Amazon Web Services,” says Figured CTO Richard John Wyke.
“We established Intelligent Life for the specific purpose of transforming the traditional and well established business process/model of selling life insurance. Back in 2006, this traditional process had not changed across the global insurance industry in 50 or so years.”
Trevor Leybourne encourages teams to innovate and run a test and learn philosophy at MYOB.
Southern Cross Health Society is in the midst of a digital transformation programme to build on its core health insurance platform.
“Strong engagement with our credit union owners to understand their business strategies and priorities ensure that we remain in sync with their needs,” says Co-op Money NZ CIO Deane Johns.
In the past year, Transaction Services Group has acquired two companies and significantly grown its size. Today, it runs five operating companies across the United States, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“Westpac New Zealand’s challenge has been to transform from a formal and somewhat less efficient organisation, into one that can create great customer experiences rapidly, responding to opportunities and threats alike,” says the bank’s CIO, Dawie Olivier.
Service oriented architecture (SOA) was the last item to come out of a revision of the business strategy of PSIS in 2006. The new strategy for the financial services co-operative came purely from business drivers, says enterprise architect Mike Burrowes. “Our thinking went around: What does the business need today; what do they need tomorrow and 10 years down the line as well as we could estimate?
“The basic message was flexibility, integration and a common user interface.”
A Linux solution from Red Hat helped the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) to maximise space, while keeping costs down. The company also managed to reduce carbon emissions.
BNZ was the first bank in New Zealand to use Red Hat for mainframe consolidation.
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.
The air on the 28th floor of the ASB Centre in Auckland’s CBD seems thinner than it does at street level. At the time of our interview Russell Jones has been head of group technology for the ASB Group of Companies for just six weeks.
His new office is about as far removed from the daily rough-and-tumble of IT operations as it’s possible to get; more luxury hotel suite than server room or data centre. And there are indications that the occupant is still new to his role: Framed pictures leaning against the wall; a child’s doodle on the whiteboard.
Paul Micomonaco, financial controller, AAT Kings Tours
If your company's IT costs are blowing out, don't blame the chief information officer. It's all those processes that are just variations on a theme that are costing big bucks, according to two well-credentialled European consultants.
One of them is Thomas Volk, chief executive and acting CFO of German multinational business consulting firm IDS Scheer. He is waving the flag for what is often seen as a fuzzy concept - business process management.