What are the biggest challenges for CIOs? The biggest challenges for CIOs are doing more with less and matching the demands of the organisation against the resource base and capabilities you have. It’s also a matter of ensuring there’s a business-led strategy that can guide and direct the IT function, recognising that technology is not a ‘silver bullet’ to business transformation without effective business process redesign and change management. What are the traits required to be a CIO? The traits include strong leadership and the ability to build a cohesive team, which collectively strives for common goals; along with having a good understanding of the business drivers and organisational risks. Being a technology expert, or even having a background in technology, is not a pre-requisite, and more and more we are seeing the most effective CIOs are often those who have a business focus rather than a technology one. What have your previous roles taught you? People are our greatest asset. Often technology is the easy bit, but integrating it with the people, processes and culture of your organisation to best effect can be hard. My previous experience has taught me that a CIO needs to be focused on business outcomes, not on technology enablement. What is the most difficult aspect of ICT for your company? Developing a business-led roadmap which clearly prioritises the capabilities required to deliver the organisation’s strategy, ensuring the ICT requirements of the capability match the resources that the CIO controls and can deliver. Does the NZ Defence Force use, or plan to use, any web 2.0 tools, collaboration or social media technologies? We are actively developing a web presence for recruitment, which is the first of our next generation of websites. The vast majority of the Defence Force is recruited from the bottom up and social media allows us to appeal and relate to the youth of today, otherwise we would cut ourselves off from the next generation of recruits. What projects are you currently working on that you are particularly excited about? The Defence Transformation Programme (DTP) is helping us tobe more effective and efficient. DTP focuses on streamlining and improving processes and the middle- and back-end of NZDF, so that frontline operations can continue to be our top priority. It gets to the heart of how we run our HR, logistics and HQ functions. The future vision for these is heavily dependent on IT enablement. In general, what do you think is the most pressing ICT issue at present? The most pressing issue at the moment is being able to maintain appropriate infrastructure and service delivery, and deliver new capability at a time where the fiscal climate is putting massive pressure on organisational resources. What is the most exciting thing happening in ICT now? It’s exciting that ICT is being seen as a true business enabler, and that CIOs and other ICT leaders are being given a seat at the top table to help guide business strategy. What will be the next big thing in six months’ time? The increasing threat of cyber warfare/crime is challenging our legacy systems and the way we have previously done business. Information assurance and computer network defence will continue to challenge the industry as ICT becomes more important in the delivery of business outcomes for many organisations. Do you believe in the cloud computing hype? Essentially, cloud computing is about provisioning capacity and capability to the customers as and when they need it, in the most effective and efficient manner. In reality, this is what the ICT industry has been doing for years; it’s just that improvements in technology are giving us more effective ways of delivering this service. So no, I don’t believe the hype – it’s just another buzz word that has been overused by the ICT community in my view! If you didn’t work in IT, what would you be doing? I would be leading people to deliver business benefit and organisational change, or maybe just going fishing!