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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

“I’m looking at how I can make some business analyst source available earlier on in the process to really get to the ‘nub’ of what people want to do and how technology could help.

“You can never underestimate the value of having regular conversations with people… [It’s about] checking the stakeholders understand what’s going on and checking whether they have any questions or concerns because often when people get busy they just don’t have time to act on the little thoughts about what’s happening.”

Different stakeholder groups need to know how the project will fit comfortably into their day-to-day activities; how it will fit into their business-as-usual demands and priorities. Burns pointed out that having a clear communication plan for each stakeholder group is essential as it can be tempting to only focus on the project from an IT perspective rather than a business-wide perspective.

“You need to understand for busy people what their level of interest is, what information they need to know and then work out what is the best way of getting them that information,” she said.

Legacy transformation

Department of Defence CIO Dr Peter Lawrence

It’s out with the old and in with the new this year as CIOs look to transform their business applications, systems and infrastructure. IDG Enterprise CEO Michael Friedenberg asked CIOs “What legacy systems will you retire this year?” in his top CIO strategies for 2013, quoting Leonardo da Vinci, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

Dr Peter Lawrence, CIO of the Department of Defence, recently spoke toCIO Australia on the Defence’s software refresh, which includes $1.9 billion in ICT-related savings between 2010 and 2020 by simplifying its core applications and introducing shared service agreements.

Defence will retire around 3000 complex legacy applications and replace them with Oracle’s database and middleware products under a four-year, $63 million contract with the software giant. Oracle will upgrade Defence’s existing Oracle PeopleSoft application to provide human resources and payroll services to more than 100,000 full-time and reservist personnel.

“The project we are on at the moment is all about bringing a number of [PeopleSoft HR] systems onto one off-the-shelf version of PeopleSoft with minimal, if any customisation,” Dr Lawrence said in an interview with CIO Australia.

“That will allow us to consolidate the number of Oracle databases we have around the place in the PeopleSoft space, let alone other opportunities that come along after that.”


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