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2017: The year that was

2017: The year that was

A month-by-month look back at who and what made news in 2017


Great news for Australian CIOs as Gartner revealed in its 19th annual CIO survey that CIOs working in Asia Pacific are steaming ahead of their global peers in the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and conversational interfaces.

Forty three per cent of CIOs from the region had deployed or were planning to roll out IoT technologies compared with 37 per cent globally. Some 37 per cent were deploying some form of AI technology, compared to 25 per cent globally.

In tech news, Amazon Web Services announced it is bringing machine learning to the enterprise and start-up masses, releasing a fully managed end-to-end machine learning service called Sagemaker and a video camera that runs deep learning models dubbed DeepLens.

In government news, the South Australian government has backed driverless vehicle trials. Aurrigo, the Australian subsidiary of UK driverless shuttle supplier RDM Group, began testing its cargo-carrying autonomous vehicles at the Tonsley Innovation District, after receiving $1 million from the government’s Future Mobility Lab fund.

In people news, CIO Australia revealed that Mark Gay quit as chief information officer at ME. Gay, who ranked number 1 in CIO Australia’s CIO50 list in 2016, led around 200 tech staff and steered the online bank though a complete overhaul and redesign of its technology architecture from the ground up. The five-year, $90 million project was completed last year.

In global news, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) chief executive officer, Meg Whitman, announced she planned to step down early next year, with the company’s president, Antonio Neri, set to take up the reins.
The leadership shuffle, effective from 1 February 2018, also sees Neri join the HPE board of directors, where Whitman will remain after stepping down as CEO.


On the people front, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has appointed Joe Locandro as its inaugural chief digital and technology officer.

Brennan IT chief information officer Simon Wheeler has joined marketing operations platform Simple as chief technology officer, while GM Holden's CIO and head of information technology, Peter Lane, has left his post at the iconic brand.

In more people news, the Australian Research Council (ARC) has named its new chief information officer as Peter Conn, while the CIO of Mexican-themed franchise Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill, John Boyd, is departing the company as he looks for a “change in direction.”

Additionally, GetSwift’s global chief information officer Jamila Gordon has moved on after less than 12 months in the role, while Nagib Kassis has left Allianz after 15 years at the insurance organisation to undertake his first CIO role at ASX-listed FlexiGroup Limited.

In drone news, Brisbane City Council has designated areas in 10 parks as ‘drone zones’ so pilots can fly their recreational unmanned aerial vehicles within regulations.

And the public spat between TechnologyOne and Brisbane City Council may be finally coming to an end as the two organisations reportedly resolved their long-running feud with a secretive settlement.

The dispute traces back to a June 2015 BCC contract won by TechOne to deliver a local government systems (LGS) project.

Meanwhile, big news on the tech front came with the official opening of Amazon into Australia.

With Amazon officially opening up shop in Australia, local retailers are ‘bracing for impact’ and grappling with the ensuing business implications in what’s considered an already tough retail environment.

The online retail giant unveiled amazon.com.au to Australian consumers this month, opening the door for consumers to shop for millions of products across 20 categories including books, music, clothing and accessories, consumer electronics, kitchen and baby.

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