GHD Group's CIO Elizabeth Harper has joined the company's executive management group and is now reporting directly to the CEO following a restructure at the engineering firm.
As CIO, Harper manages a 200-person IT team that supports GHD’s consultants and scientists in delivering more than 75 different services to clients. Before the change in governance, she reported to the company’s general manager – finance.
The new reporting structure reflects the organisation’s shift to more digital systems as a platform for better client service and internal collaboration, said CEO Ashley Wright.
“Digital services are crucial to GHD as we continue to position the business to respond to the technological challenges of 2020 and beyond,” Wright said.
“Our investment in digital systems underpins our strategic vision of seamless service across our connected global network.”
According to Harper’s LinkedIn page, GHD runs more than 3000 technical applications that include CADD drawing; 3D modelling; 3D visualisation and GIS. Harper will also continue managing deployment of enterprise-level technologies and helping integrate new additions to GHD’s global business.
In the updated role, Harper will be streamlining new systems and providing support for new staff following recent mergers in North America and the UK.
The company's integration efforts include the provision of 24 hour IT support, and migration to the GHD standard managed operating environment, Harper told CIO Australia. GHD is also rolling out a new company intranet to help its 8500+ professionals interact and collaborate in a connected global network.
GHD Group said Harper had transformed the company’s approach to enterprise IT since she joined the firm as CIO in 2010, leading to improved service delivery, consistency and engagement across 200+ offices globally.
She has also commercialised IT services for external clients to complement GHD’s extensive range of technical offerings.
Last year, Harper was named Gold Disruptor in the ACS’ ICT Professional of the Year category for her work with GHD. She has also been described as one of Queensland’s most inspirational private sector leaders at the 2014 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.
"I am absolutely delighted to be able to contribute in this forum and take on the greater responsibility. The role allows me to influence technical innovation at a higher level across GHD," Harper told CIO Australia.
Harper said it's important that information services [IS] is seen as not just a support function but a key enabler of the company’s vision for collaboration, client service and data-driven offerings, as well as managing risk and expenditure. This new appointment will help her further improve how the IS team supports and enables the company’s continued performance, she added.
“A CIO is closer to being a client service manager than a technologist. It is fundamental to understand and participate in the business, embrace the strategy and translate it for the IS team to enable GHD’s continued development,” she said.