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CIO Summit 2009 Roundtable: The global financial crisis and IT transformation projects

CIO Summit 2009 Roundtable: The global financial crisis and IT transformation projects

The complete panel discussion from the CIO Summit 2009, featuring Gary Whatley, CIO, Corporate Express, Carsten Larson, CIO at ACMA, and Chris Clark, CIO, Brookfield-Multiplex.

CIO Executive Council Panel Session. From left to right: Caroline Bucknell, General Manager, CIO Executive Council; Chris Clark, CIO, Brookfield Multiplex; Carsten Larsen, CIO, ACMA; Garry Whatley, CIO, Corporate Express.

CIO Executive Council Panel Session. From left to right: Caroline Bucknell, General Manager, CIO Executive Council; Chris Clark, CIO, Brookfield Multiplex; Carsten Larsen, CIO, ACMA; Garry Whatley, CIO, Corporate Express.

Before the financial crisis we would have five people apply for a position at ACMA -- now we have 150. There is an opportunity to get better staff at a reasonable cost, and you can reduce the cost IT spends on outsourcing because you can begin to look at in-sourcing.

Chris Clark, CIO, Brookfield-Multiplex: Brookfield purchased us more than 12 months ago. Brookfield in Canada rang the bell for us last September on the financial crisis -- this is coming, be ready for it. Hence, we have a lot of pressure to consolidate. They took 30 percent out of the IT budget alone. If you take that much out of the business what is going to be the side effect? What are you going to tell the business what you will to be able to perform and not perform for the business?

If have numbers I can talk to the business about what it takes to support and maintain the IT environment

Chris Clark, CIO, Brookfield-Multiplex

So we got in a room and worked out every factor that an IT department played, the roles and responsibilities and tried to work out the amount of time that would take on a weekly basis to keep things operational and maintained -- and keeping the staff motivated because just keeping the lights on won’t keep them motivated.

The outcome was that we went right back to the start and looked at everyone’s job description and what they were there to perform. We also built new roadmaps for the team itself, not just the project.

When you get down to working out the hours you get into the area of guesswork. How do you capture what staff actually do?

So we decided to implement a time management system for our staff. I thought I would have been killed -- have 30 knives in my back -- but since implementing it, I’ve turned the team around. I now have results which I can show to the team [so they can see] what we are putting into support and what we are putting into innovation. If have numbers I can talk to the business about what it takes to support and maintain the IT environment.

It turned into an opportunity for the business because it wanted to cut costs. I could show the business that it was the way it was using IT that was causing my costs: let’s sit down and start talking about what the business is doing with the applications, infrastructure, or multiple sites across Australia and the region, and how are they being used. We got to a point where the business was prepared to change the way it used IT to then cut costs.

One example is a report on mobile expenditure, which is mailed out to every user. That saw a 30 percent reduction on expenditure, through transparency of usage. Seeing the cost changed their usage.

CIO: What techniques are you developing for collaboration with the business? How are you building trust between IT and the business?

Gary: The trust came through when we pulled apart how we were spending on IT. The transparency brought the trust.

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Tags Corporate ExpressACMAglobal financial crisisCIO Summit 2009Brookfield Multiplex

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