We are almost two months into 2015 and CIOs are well into their initiatives for this year after their summer breaks. We speak to three IT leaders to find out what their key objectives and initiatives are for 2015.
For Vic Sharma, head of information technology at financial services organisation, Balmain, network security is a big priority this year.
The company is in the throes of moving to a cloud-based firewall solution – managed by Telstra – to ensure it is running the highest level of network security.
“We haven’t had any major attacks thank god … but our firewall solution is fairly old and in-house so I want to move to a cloud-based solution. This means all our sites are not relying on our Sydney site because that’s where they get routed to the Internet,” he said. “This is a bottleneck, if the firewalls blow up, then nobody can get out to the Internet, which is a business risk.”
Sharma and his team are also moving most of the organisation’s disaster recovery system from one of its branch offices to the NextDC data centre in Sydney.
“The idea behind this was to have a bigger pipe between the production and disaster recovery [sites], and the need to be able to migrate virtual machines from one side to another in case of a disaster – basically business continuity, which has become important for us.
“This is because our systems are becoming more focused on external customers so they need to be available 99.9 per cent of the time. These places [data centres] have high levels of redundancy and they are highly secure,” he said.
Lastly, creating an IT strategy that outlines how the technology group will help the business grow is also a priority. His team is currently working on getting an internal system up and running for Balmain’s new equipment finance business. The first draft of the system will be ready by April, he said.
Security is also a priority for LEK Consulting, said the company’s head of IT, Asia-Pacific, Johan Sulaiman.
He said the company will continue with business risk assessment exercises, and focus on developing security frameworks, protecting data, training staff, and recognising potential insider threats.
Improving disaster recovery, business continuity, planning and IT readiness, and testing were also priorities, he said.
Other activities this year will include optimising resources and services – for instance consolidating IT infrastructure), ensuring proper selection of cloud services and deployment models; and ensuring mobile devices are well managed.
Rolling out a service-oriented architecture across the business was a big priority in calendar 2015 for online vehicle seller, carsales.com.au, said CIO, Ajay Bhatia.
“Over the past few years, we have shifted to a micro-service architecture that places us perfectly to expand our services to our international partners,” Bhatia said. “CY15 will see many of these initiatives delivered to our international investments,” he said.
The organisation will also keep innovating throughout the year, he said. Carsales.com.au has been running hackathons inside its business for a while and these events have changed the way the company thinks about innovation and talent, said Bhatia.
“In CY15, we will spend more on exploring new technologies and businesses. The key enabler to make all this happen will be top talent and that will, as such, be a key focus,” he said.
Using big data and analytics techniques to improve services across the business is also important, he said.
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