by Divina Paredes

Movers and shakers: Russell Jones moves to retail banking at ASB

Dec 07, 2016
Big DataCareersCloud Computing

Russell Jones is taking on a new role at ASB – executive general manager, retail and business banking – in February 2017.

He is currently executive general manager – technology innovation at ASB, a role he has been holding for the past three and a half years. He is also a director at Payments NZ and healthAlliance.

Jones joined ASB after more than a decade in manufacturing — he was IT director at International Paper in the US, and prior to this, was CIO for Carter Holt Harvey. He had been CIO for a year at ASB when he took on the role of chief operations officer with responsibility for technology, then was promoted to executive GM technology and innovation.

In an earlier interview with CIO New Zealand, Jones shared his insight on nurturing a career in business and information technology: “We really need people to recognise that we are in a fast moving industry and that technologies come and go; new tools, new suppliers and new ways of things come out all the time…And in that environment, why wouldn’t you rather move around, and develop and grow?”

He also championed the need to think differently in the digital era. “The ICT team at ASB Bank is driven to think differently – to see the organisation as more than a bank, and as a technology company that is licensed and trusted to provide financial services.”

This shifting perspective comes as the bank faces an increasingly digital world and a changing competitive market, he says in the 2016 CIO100 report.

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For the second straight year, Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is collaborating with to support Hour of Code, a global educational movement that reaches tens of millions of students through a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programming.

As part of Accenture’s commitment to inspire and expand the opportunities for students to learn coding and computer science skills, Accenture employees in more than 200 cities across 55 countries have pledged to complete more than 10,000 Hours of Code during Computer Science Education Week December 5 to11. Additionally, more than 2,000 Accenture employees have committed to lead local events or volunteer at schools in their communities by working with teachers and to help students learn the basics of coding through online tutorials that inspire students to continue learning.

“The need for more computer science graduates has never been greater. Last year, there were 500,000new computing jobs available in the US but only 40,000 qualified graduates to fill them. We all must do more to close the skills gap and prepare students to join the workforce of the future,” says Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology officer and ‘chief coder’. “In today’s digital world, exposing each and every student – particularly girls and minorities — to coding is just as critical as teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. I am proud of the personal commitments Accenture employees are making to help introduce students to computer programming and the vast opportunities available to them in the computer science field.”

Nick Evans has been promoted to the newly created position of IT transformation director at Solnet. Evans says he is delighted with the challenges and opportunities that his new position will provide.

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“Successful digital transformation requires changing an organisation’s IT to be more responsive and innovative,” he says, in a statement. “Solnet has long-standing professional relationships with both government agencies and enterprise clients, and we understand the size and complexity of their challenges in this area.”

“Solnet has the vision, along with depth of experience and technical capability needed to help our clients successfully leverage their IT assets for rapid, customer-centric digital innovation,” says Evans.

Solnet managing director Mark Botherway says the new role within the company’s senior executive team reflects the company’s growth and ongoing commitment to digital transformation at the enterprise level.

“There’s plenty of talk about digital transformation and it’s commanding significant attention at senior levels across the country, as organisations move to improve their digital product offerings. However, the reality is that for large government and enterprise-class organisations, digital transformation is as much about strategy and execution as it is technology.”

“Nick, with his experience in large-scale projects, team management, solutions delivery and operations, has the perfect mix of talents for this new role. He’s leading a team of specialists who have the diverse range of skills needed to help organisations successfully execute their digital transformation strategy to deliver tangible value,” says Botherway.

Ken Martin is now vice president, Solution Sales, Agile Central, Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) for CA. He joins CA from Intelligent Pathways where he was responsible for the successful delivery of the company’s consulting services for New South Wales, Australia. During his 10-year tenure at HP and Compaq, Martin held regional leadership positions in solution sales. He has also worked with Oracle and Toshiba.

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Matthew Hadlow is appointed to the newly created role of solutions sales consultant at Jade. His primary focus will be on helping clients with digital transformation projects and the development of new business applications.

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Standout Kiwi tech firms

Deloitte Private partner Darren Johnson says 53 New Zealand technology companies have been included in the 2016 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific index, one shy of last year’s record 54 companies and the third year in a row with over 50 Kiwi businesses represented.

The index ranks the top 500 tech businesses according to their revenue growth over the past three years and sets the standard for high growth technology businesses in the Asia Pacific region.

Chinese company Chengdu Wolaila, which provides e-commerce and 24-hour express delivery services through an internet portal called Sposter, tops this year’s index with a staggering 25,239per cent growth.

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This year’s strong Kiwi representation, with New Zealand companies accounting for over 10 per cent of the entire Asia Pacific index for the third straight year, is continued evidence that our technology companies can thrive on the world stageDarren Johnson, Deloitte NZ

Leading the list of New Zealand businesses is Auckland-based mobile payment company Pushpay, ranked 10th on the regional index with an impressive 4,574per cent growth. It is followed by customer relationship management platform Plexure and appointment booking and scheduling software company Timely, which come in 35th and 71st respectively on the 2016 index.

Fourteen Kiwi technology companies are placed in the top one-third of the index and seven are in the top 100.

Johnson says the 53 companies from New Zealand outperforms regional heavyweights South Korea (50) and Japan (35), and is just shy of Taiwan (57), in terms of representation on the index.

“This year’s strong Kiwi representation, with New Zealand companies accounting for over 10 per cent of the entire Asia Pacific index for the third straight year, is continued evidence that our technology companies can thrive on the world stage,” says Johnson.

“As we saw in the Deloitte Fast 50 unveiled last month, a number of Kiwi companies have embraced disruptive technologies; with many in business to help other companies better navigate these technological changes.”

Auckland-based businesses lead the Kiwi contingent on the list with 24 companies represented, while there are 15 from Wellington, 6 from Christchurch, 3 from Hamilton, 2 from Dunedin and one each from Whangarei, New Plymouth and Queenstown.

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