Movers and shakers

A look at recent movements among Australian CIOs

  • Glenn Archer quit his role as Australian government CIO in February 2014 after only being in the role for a little over a year. In May last year, [[artnid: 463074|Archer launched the Australian Government Cloud Computing Policy version 2.0|]] that aligns with the National Cloud Computing Strategy. He had said one of the biggest benefits government can gain from working in a cloud environment is improving its operations and interactions between government agencies. “One [issue] that we have had for quite a while but it just getting worse, frankly, is the unbelievably complex nature of the interaction between me, government agencies and each other and external parties. “What we see now is often very complex arrangements of linking IT systems which work just fine until you see there’s some change in the structure of a department or there’s some opportunity of government change and you have to manage that. “In a cloud environment, policy ownership is not such a big issue because of your ability to move the underlying application between entities is much easier. "And if you do need to form some kind of integration hopefully we will look to do that in a cloud environment not between physical departments of state.”

  • Grahame Coles moved from being the CIO of Victoria's Department of Human Services to executive director for digital government at the Department of State Development and Business Innovation in March 2014. Having only began the role on 11 March 2014, Coles said “he is still pulling the projects together” that are part of the [[xref:|state government strategy|]].

  • Former SA government IT head Andrew Mills began in his role as CIO of the Queensland government in January 2014. The Queensland government has had a tumultuous few years on the IT front, following the [[artnid: 535375|$1.2 billion QLD Health payroll disaster|]]. The QLD government said around 1,650 staff at Queensland Health will repay about $2.137 million in loans and overpayments following the introduction of an online payment system in November. The repayment option – which was part of the government’s efforts to recover millions of dollars in taxpayer funds lost following the health payroll disaster – enables staff to more easily manage their overpayments and loans.

  • After being CTO for about three years at BT, James Patterson became CIO at NSW Health Pathology in January 2014. Patterson will consolidate and connect laboratory information systems across the organisation’s networks, and represent the NSW public pathology system in broader state and federal e-health initiatives such as the personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR). “These systems record the details of a patient’s journey when it comes to the pathology tests they receive. It’s vital we’re able to access records quickly and easily, share relevant diagnostic details with treating clinicians, and exchange information across networks to support patient care,” said [[artnid: 527435 |NSW Health Pathology’s director of corporate strategy, systems and support, Vanessa Janissen, before Patterson was appointed|]]. "At the same time we also need to ensure the security of such systems to protect patient confidentiality.” The health organisation also upgraded one of its networks to include chemistry, coagulation and haematology instrumentation across all of its labs. “These types of instrumentation provide testing for conditions such as hepatitis, HIV, tumour markers, infertility, thyroid function, drug testing, and liver and kidney function,” she said. “It meant that network could deliver quality results more efficiently,” Janissen said. NSW Health Pathology also introduced Next Generation Sequencing, which is used to analyse the characteristics of human genes, and a ‘high end mass spectrometer’. “The pathologists and scientists involved will be able to increase the number of samples they can test, increase the number of genes they can analyse, reduce the number of manual steps involved, improve turn-around times and achieve better overall throughput with fewer pieces of equipment,” Janissen said. “The ‘high end mass spectrometer’ means we can screen for more than 150 drugs in a single analysis and see results delivered to pathologists in half the time it’s previously taken.”

  • Jeff Carson became CIO of Royal District Nursing Service in January 2014. In October last year, RDNS announced it was [[artnid: 529320|trialling a new telehealth service on the website where people can make video calls directly through their Web browsers using WebRTC|]]. Philip Robinson, general manager, internal investments at RDNS, said the new service will continue to be piloted in 2014. The organisation was also piloting medication management video conferencing service to link patients in their homes to healthcare professionals in its 24/7 contact centre.

  • Winner of 2013 iAwards CIO of the Year, Susan Sly, joined Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as CIO in January 2014. Sly previously worked for VicRoads as executive GM information management and technology. Having built her foundation working in an IT role in the military, it gave her [[artnid:539972|“a great platform on which to build from the leadership perspective”|]]. “The greatest reward in my career has been helping people overcome obstacles to realise potential,” she said. “When I was working with Defence, I was working with a team who did not necessarily have the best reputation. My first couple of weeks with them included us having to manage some fairly severe IT outages and incidents that demonstrated we had some poor practices and poor technology in place. “Within six months, we ran a program where we had managers stepping up, we did some changes around our structure, and we engaged some vendors so that we were working with them, not against them. Within those six months, they went to being the top performing region in Australia and a number of the staff were actually head hunted by the national organisation to move into roles within it.”

  • Following an IT restructure, Diane Fernley-Jones left Leighton Contractors in January 2014 where she was CIO for seven years. CIO Australia understands the [[artnid: 535921|IT team has been divided between business services and transformation, led by group managers for different areas of IT, but there is no longer any head of IT or CIO|]]. "Leighton Contractors has adjusted its IT structure, creating separate teams focused on IT operations and business system implementation, to best serve our operational and business growth priorities,” a spokesperson said in a statement. Fernley-Jones said she is taking time out to explore some of her other interests. Read: [[artnid:541089|Airservices CIO Gordon Dunsford resigns|]]
    Read: [[artnid:541191|New Jetstar CIO plans IT transformation|]]

  • Replacing Nick Brant, Sarma Rajaraman stepped into the CIO role for Brisbane City Council in December 2013. Sarma will be taking over [[artnid:522532|]] projects that Brant had worked on such as an ERP transformation, a replacement CRM solution for the city’s contact centre, an electronic document and records management system and piloting mobile computing solutions.

  • [[artnid:537551|Westpac Australia CIO Clive Whincup will be moving to Woolworths|]] as its new CIO later in 2014, replacing Dan Beecham. According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, the supermarket’s previous CIO Dan Beecham left Woolworths in late 2013 to move to the United Kingdom.

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