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Lifeline's new CIO talks business plan, mobility

Lifeline's new CIO talks business plan, mobility

Chris Hardy on his national IT revamp plan

Moving into a newly created CIO role has its challenges, but Lifeline’s Chris Hardy says he is looking forward to coming months at the not-for-profit.

Hardy was selected by Lifeline to take up the top IT job after it chose to launch a national IT revamp, with the former Medibank Health Solutions CIO saying that he applied for the job because it seemed to be a perfect fit.

“From a career development and progression [point of view], I’m always interested to see what roles are available,” Hardy said. “My focus has always been, how can I best use my skills to assist an organisation moving forward? I felt that Lifeline's requirements were a perfect match.”

Aligning IT with the business priorities is the biggest challenge for Hardy, who said delivering on Lifeline’s business plan is top-of-mind for him.

“I think the biggest challenge is to ensure we have the right technology and the right understanding of the business and the business priorities to deliver on the business plan,” he said.

“This essentially is, within the next two to three years, [to] achieve a 700,000 contacts or call answering within a calendar year, and we’re taking about 450,000 [contacts] for this year — that’s quite a significant and aggressive stance that we’ve taken.”

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With not-for-profit companies having to do more with less of an IT budget than their for-profit counterparts, Hardy said providing cost-effective IT solutions is top of mind.

“It’s about moving the IT department to what I explain as a world of operational excellence — we are providing the right infrastructure and technology for this business,” he said.

“Part of that is ensuring we have the right processes and governance around our projects to ensure we deliver them on time and cost effectively.

“As a charity and a not-for-profit organisation, we need to ensure we are getting our value for money.”

Allowing Lifeline’s staff to become more mobile is also on Hardy’s IT agenda.

“Another thing that I’m looking at is workforce mobility and understanding how that plays a role in the wider requirements of Lifeline based on allowing our workforce to work from different areas,” he said. “By being flexible with our workforce, it enables us to deliver [the] 700,000 calls [in the business plan].”

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