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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

Peter Alexander, CIO of the Department of Treasury, is focusing his attention on expanding Treasury’s ‘Odysseus’ big data project from collecting data sets from sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Reserve Bank to collecting more unstructured data sets from social media.

“There’s a thought that a lot of that is really about marketing and all these brands are doing sentiment analysis to understand whether people like them or not or whether they should change their marketing or whatever it might be,” he said.

“But I think there’s a value in that type of information [for Treasury] as well. It is more [useful] in terms of if [people] were talking about the cost of living in Australia or house prices or other economic indicators then social media would be an interesting thing to look at to see whether there is value and if we could see any indicators in that for economic modelling.”

Treasury is currently working with the CSIRO, along with the Department of Human Services and other government agencies and companies, to pilot a social media monitoring tool called ‘Vizie’. Alexander hopes this will help gain further insights into how Treasury can mine and use social media to create useful information.

Over the next couple of years, Alexander said he will start looking at how Treasury could use sensor data and see if it can provide useful information that relates to economic situations.

“For example, is there a correlation between the data coming out of traffic lights or traffic information at particular economic events that may be useful in informing us? The power companies have a whole lot of data about usage. Could that give us some indications to economic circumstances?”


ING Direct CIO Andrew Henderson

Cloud may have been all talk in 2012 but this year CIOs are making it a reality in their organisations, various analyst firms have said. Forrester said CIOs will stop talking about everything moving into to the cloud and “get real” about what fits into cloud services. Ovum said cloud models, services and applications are becoming more enterprise grade.

Andrew Henderson, CIO of ING Direct, is underway with a major data centre transformation project following the company’s deployment of itsprivate cloud or “Bank in a Box” that took place late 2012 to the start of 2013.


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