Former WA Police CIO, Mike Schuman, has joined oil and gas giant, Woodside Energy as transformation business advisor. Schuman is working alongside the organisation’s CIO, Sara Braund.
Schuman quit his role at WA Police in January after spending the past year delivering his transformation plan. He was initially appointed in July 2014 as a transformational director before becoming acting CIO in December that year. He moved into the role permanently in April 2015.
Schuman told CIO Australia that his new role at Woodside was not too different to what he started doing at WA Police.
“When I came into WA Police, I was working alongside the CIO as a transformational director so really it’s kind of like Groundhog Day because I am a transformational business advisor being brought in to assist the CIO,” he said.
“What it comes down to is the CIO only has so much headspace for any given task.”
A big ticket item at Woodside over the next 12 months, as Schuman puts it, will be the “industrialisation” of cloud services across the organisation.
“We are now seeing this enormous ramp up of cloud services and 2016 is going to be a huge year for software-as-a-service (SaaS) plays across the organisation. For me, that means if I don’t hurry up, I’ll have far more clouds to herd.”
Schuman said he will focus on cloud access security broking, determining how to standardise security across multiple services. It is important to establish a security and business risk profile around these services, he said.
“There are always going to be outliers but we try and look for that commonality – for that underlying standardised way – that single pane of glass for administering things like encryption or at least obfuscation of data. We are looking at ways of monitoring activity inside a cloud service using APIs.
“The big thing around that is you actually have to establish a set of business rules because it’s not for IT to monitor [these services]. So there’s a lot of collaborative work going on with the business units to where we are asking: ‘what are the business rules that you want to set up? What is it that you want to know is happening with these services?' This is a very interesting portion of what I am doing,” he said.
Cloud services are paying off for Woodside. In 2014, the organisation initiated a project to determine the potential of harnessing data gathered by 200,000 sensors to improve operations at its Pluto liquid natural gas plant in Western Australia.
Amazon’s cloud services were used to crunch data from these sensors, which monitored operations including temperature and pressure, Woodside’s CTO Shaun Gregory said last month.
This project was a success and the organisation said it is now planning to connect sensors across its other onshore plants and its offshore facilities and vessels using Amazon’s cloud.
Meanwhile, Schuman said he is also helping select technology infrastructure for Woodside’s new office building. The new Woodside headquarters – due to open by 2019 – is a campus-style complex in the Capital Square development in Perth’s CBD.
The facility includes a 31-storey office tower, 400-seat auditorium, and 'wellness' facilities for staff.
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