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Tales from NZ

Tales from NZ

I'm writing this editorial from the New Zealand offices of IDG Communications.

I'm visiting NZ because CIO debuted here this month (July) and I thought it a good idea to do some comparing of notes and information sharing. However, while Don Hill, the NZ editor, and I may embark on some joint projects, CIO Australia and NZ will be discrete publications focused on local people and issues. But in preparing for my visit I came across some pretty dismaying information.

In the NZ CIO, IDC's Peter Hind reprises his annual Forecast for Management research overview -- which appeared in the June Australian edition -- with a NZ focus. In addition to IT spending and resourcing, Hind's survey charts the challenges CIOs face for the next year. The leading issues in both countries are what one would expect: completing Y2K remediation, reducing costs, and the old standby, aligning IT to the business. What is disconcerting, and in fact downright scary, is that among the top 12 challenges, connecting to partners electronically came in a dismal last among NZ CIOs, faring little better with their Australian counterparts at number nine.

I'd like to suggest that in today's Internet economy aligning IT to business and connecting to partners electronically are one in the same. And if your fellow board members and other senior executives don't perceive this then you must take up the crusade.

The organisation without a global vision today will cease to remain competitive and is likely not to be around tomorrow. This notion is reflected in almost every story in this issue: Beverley Head's interview with Richard Humphry, the field report on Australia from CIO (US) and Sue Bushell's story on e-commerce.

And as businesses everywhere compete for customer best practice, the Internet will be the ascendant technology driving most CRM efforts.

Aligning IT to the business has been the holy grail of CIOs since IT first broke out of the glass-house. To ignore the impact of the Internet on the business will doom any chance of success. And if CIOs choose not to lead the Internet crusade within their organisations, IT will be consigned to a non-starter role when it comes to the business.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

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