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CIOs talk about their top priorities for 2013

Rebecca Merrett | Feb. 20, 2013
Five IT-business focus areas for IT leaders

Every year CIOs think about key technology and business strategies that will drive their businesses. CIO Australia spoke to five Australian IT leaders about the core areas they will be focusing on this year.


Commonwealth Bank CIO Michael Harte

The need to keep moving the business forward through technology has been projected by analyst firms to be a top priority for CIOs this year. IDC said CIOs need to get the ball rolling when it comes to acting on their plans for innovation, while Gartner said more CIOs need to step up into a leadership role if they are going to drive business transformation.

For Michael Harte, CIO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, innovation will continue to be one of his top business priorities this year. Some of the Commonwealth Bank’s biggest innovations to date have been based on its real-time banking platform such as its Kaching app on iPhone and Android,NetBank for mobiles and tablets, the MyWealth online portal, the Pi payments platform for businesses, and Kaching on Facebook, which will go live early this year.

But real innovation for Harte is not around the technology. Rather innovation is brought about by the creation of a culture where teams regularly collaborate and ideas are constantly being circulated, he said.

“At the heart of all of these innovations is not the product itself, nor the technology behind it. It’s not just about providing the tools, it is about encouraging a culture.

“Last year we held a week-long innovation festival internally in the bank, with seminars and interactive workshops to help our people better understand our customers’ needs so we can deliver to them new products and services.”

Harte said it’s also about including customers and the community in the innovation process to help build ideas.

“Last year we also held our Unleashing Innovation initiative open to CommBank staff and selected university students for their ideas on how the latest technology and services can better help our customers.”

Big data and business intelligence

Department of Treasury CIO Peter Alexander

Looking for opportunities to grow the business is going to be at the top of CIOs’ minds this year, according to various analyst firmsTelsyte said CIOs will focus on skills development as part of their big data and business intelligence strategies, while Gartner said big data will drive US$34 billion of global IT spending in 2013.


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