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The new CIO toolkit

Divina Paredes and Sim Ahmed | Aug. 14, 2012
Michele Caminos, managing vice president at Gartner, said ICT departments today face the reality of operating in "a very lean environment".

Another area is mobile phone usage. You may be buying more cellular minutes you need, she said. Although most organisations use these services they do not take full advantage of them.

Power and cooling is the number one issue to drive down costs. She said reduction in energy consumption will range from introducing "green technologies" such as refrigerant cooling at the device level, to real time infrastructure management.

Caminos also points to multi-sourcing, looking at areas where vendors can take over tasks, such as desktop management and legacy mainframes. She suggests Gartner's 12-step dialogue, with the aim of using outsourcing as a strategic rather than a tactical approach. The steps include establishing a sourcing strategy process and sourcing governance, and improving service provider relationships.

CIOs can also be involved in businesses at a "completely different level".

Caminos cited the case of a CIO in healthcare who worked with clinicians and reduced into four the 20 administrative tasks that involved tremendous duplication. "If he can save clinicians 15 minutes each day each year, that is time they can spend relaxing or visiting another client."

She also advises IT organisations to be "absolutely ruthless" with the cloud. "If it is not absolutely mission critical and [provides no] differentiation for your organisation, why do you have to have it internally?"

Another speaker, Paul Muckleston, managing director, Microsoft New Zealand, picks up on Caminos' point about moving to cloud services. He said rapid take-up of cloud in New Zealand is in education, SMBs and ISVs (software vendors). He expects the public sector to move to leadership position when it comes to the cloud in next 12 months.

He said New Zealand, however, is "not quite land of the long white cloud yet". He said in the enterprise space, there are "pockets" of cloud take-up citing the case of Air New Zealand and Fletcher Building. That will change as a result of confidence level of New Zealand commercial companies in the public cloud.

Lessons on change management

The CIO of the number one MIS100-ranked organisation this year, Johan Vendrig of healthAlliance, said the group is already working on eight of the 10 areas Caminos singles out for reducing IT costs. These include the top five, and deferring non-critical key initiatives.

Vendrig said the shared services organisation has achieved the restructure and initial change process.

This is the second year healthAlliance achieved the top ranking in MIS100, which is based on screen numbers, business revenue and size of staff. healthAlliance was formed in 2011 and incorporates the IT services, finance, procurement and supply chain, process and service improvement and staff service centre for the Northern Region District Health Boards.


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