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Super ministry CIO

Stephen Bell | April 25, 2013
Warren Shera, CIO of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, is faced with the challenging task of reconciling the ICT needs of four departments, which bring very different established needs, priorities and styles of operation to the mix.

DIA is "definitely" on the right track with the all-of-government ICT programme, Shera says. "I couldn't offer any more comment than that; I haven't been in the chair long enough; but definitely with regard to synergies, there are a lot of areas where you can make significant improvements just in our own environment with a common approach to the acquisition even of simple things like telephones or telephony systems as an example."

There is some feeling in the industry that DIA's and MED's preference for long-term contracts with panels of vendors for all-of-government supply excludes new, small and local companies. Shera takes an optimistic view.

"I'm probably not able to comment with authority," he says. "What I can say is that panels are a very powerful tool to deploy or enact a technology platform or system or obtain resources. Panels in my experience don't necessarily have to be a static thing. Perhaps with projects like IaaS, when you're talking about multi-million dollar infrastructure upgrades around datacentres [you have to look at long term contracts]; but in terms of software providers [panels are] something we're constantly looking at."

The merger exercise is "an interesting challenge; there are obviously four different entities, four different technology sets and perhaps four different models for how they work and how they address the challenges they're presented with.

"Perhaps my biggest challenge -- or opportunity -- is aligning the IT services division with the new business leaders that report to David [Smol, MBIE CEO]; and aligning my team to support them in the development of their new business-facing initiatives and strategies as they bring these products and services to market.

"So as a general statement, I think there will be a requirement to adjust to a new leadership style, a new model, a new culture as it evolves, as MBIE develops."


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