IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Exclusive: Too much lip service; too little action in digital innovation

By Heather Wright
Mon 9 May 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Too many businesses across Australia and New Zealand are still paying lip service to digital innovation, rather than truly embracing it and face ‘potentially catastrophic’ risks because of their inaction.

That’s the view of Richard Earl, founder and executive chairman of technology recruitment company Talent International which runs the annual global Talent Unleashed awards, which includes a category for ‘Most disruptive CIO’ in ANZ.

Last year’s awards – the first to include the Most disruptive CIO/CTO category – saw Velpic’s Russell Francis take out the inaugural award, with New Zealand’s Julia Raue – at the time Air New Zealand CIO – a finalist.

The award recognises the need for today’s CIOs to be ‘a different breed of person’ and innovate their business systems and harness technology to enable their companies to not only grow, but survive.

Earl says now more than ever, those in the c-suite driving technology have to have an innovative component and be ‘very aware’ of what opportunities are out there.

“CIOs today have got to be agents for change.

“They can’t just keep the machine ticking over, buy safe traditional products and keep the thing moving along.

“Every organisation, whether in banking, financial services, energy, mining resource, forestry, whatever, has to be looking at the way business is done.”

Earl says as well as keeping abreast of technology trends – Earl suggests being ‘broadly travelled’ attending various technology conventions and trade shows to keep up with changes – CIOs need to be open minded and well networked.

“They can’t sit within their own organisations thinking they’ve got it all and know how it is done.

“They have to be quite prepared to reinvent themselves in terms of their thinking.”

He says companies both large and small, need to structure their technology departments to have an innovation centre of some kind – ‘a collection on people whose job it is to invent or think differently and create ideas’.

“You’re seeing it in some cases already with technology departments getting structured a little different, but it must not involve just appointing a head of innovation or head of digital if the overarching CIO is not like-minded,” Earl says.

However, he says some organisations are simply appointing someone as head of innovation or head of digital to sound and look like they’re doing what is required, while the CIO remains ‘a traditionalist’, hampering the company’s opportunities to move forward.

“I don’t think enough organisations are making the right changes. They’re making the right noises, but in truth, if you analyse what they’re doing, it’s more a case of paying lip service,” Earl says.

“Some of those people being put into head of digital or head of innovation are effectively marketing people, rather than technology people.”

He says ultimately, the drive towards digital innovation must be driven from the board level – something which could be a major stumbling block across ANZ, with research last year showing the region has one of the lowest digital literacy rates at board level, compared to other parts of the world.

“Awareness needs to start in the board room because if the awareness isn’t there, they’re not going to drive what is required within their tech divisions and are going to tolerate inadequacy.

“But most boards in New Zealand and Australia are no where near savvy enough in terms of the digital revolution going on.”

Earl says the Disruptive CIO award was added to Talent’s Unleashed awards to help raise awareness of that and encourage corporates in New Zealand, Australia and across Asia Pacific to invest in this space and ‘make sure the right people are in that role’.

"We are in an age when in the same way that businesses can be created very quickly and go from nothing to something significant quite quickly, established businesses can collapse quite quickly as well," he says.

"Such is the pace of change that if you’re not with the times and adjusting your business for the new economy we’re moving into, I think the risks are potentially catastrophic.

"You can’t afford to not do something significant in this space. You are already seeing industries change overnight and traditional operators revenue models disappear or collapse. You cannot risk not looking at how you approach business."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Nozomi Networks
Nozomi Networks, Siemens reveal software integration
Nozomi Networks and Siemens have extended their partnership by embedding Nozomi Networks’ software into the Siemens Scalance LPE local processing engine.
Story image
Sustainability
Legrand unveils Nexpand, a data center cabinet platform
Legrand has unveiled a new data center cabinet platform, Nexpand, to offer the necessary scalability and future-proof architecture for digital transformation.
Story image
Lightspeed
Lightspeed launches all-in-one marketing platform in A/NZ
ECommerce provider, Lightspeed has launched a new all-in-one marketing solution, Lightspeed Marketing & Loyalty in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Apple
Apple previews new features for users with disabilities
Apple says new software features that offer users with disabilities new tools for navigation, health and communication, are set to come out later this year.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Story image
Sisense
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
CFOs using digital workers and AI to prevent unnecessary loss
New technology is now allowing CFOs to use digital workers to automate their accounting processes, making it easier for them to avoid unnecessary losses.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Attain
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
Wireless
Cradlepoint expands its Cellular Intelligence capabilities
Cradlepoint has announced additional Cellular Intelligence capabilities with its NetCloud service.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Infrastructure
Nutanix study reveals financial services sector lagging with multicloud adoption
Nutanix has released new research that reveals the financial services sector is lagging behind when it comes to multicloud adoption.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The impact of COVID-19 on healthcare environments and care delivery
The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionised the healthcare industry while overcoming staff shortages, social distancing requirements, and lockdowns.
Softiron
For every 10PB of storage run on HyperDrive vs. comparable alternatives, an estimated 6,656 tonnes of CO₂ are saved by reduced energy consumption alone over its lifespan. That’s the equivalent of taking nearly 1,500 cars off the road for a year.
Link image
Story image
Sustainability
Grasping the opportunity to rethink the metrics of a sustainable data centre
A data centre traditionally has two distinct operations teams: the Facility Operations team, and the IT Operations team. Collaboration between them is the key to defining, measuring, and delivering long-term efficiency and sustainability improvements.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Microsoft
PwC NZ unveils new Cloud Security Operations Center
PwC New Zealand has unveiled its new Cloud Security Operations Center for the entire Microsoft technology stack.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom appeals $2.25 million fine in Vodafone FibreX case
The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the High Court against a $2.25 million fine imposed on Vodafone NZ for its offending under the Fair Trading Act.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Sustainability
Power at the edge: the role of data centers in sustainability
The Singaporean moratorium on new data center projects was recently lifted, with one of the conditions being an increased focus on power efficiency and sustainability.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Collaboration
Meadows exits Ingram Micro New Zealand on a good note
We look at the resignation of Danny Meadows from Ingram Micro's New Zealand Unified Communications & Collaboration business unit.