David Black has been crowned the new CIO of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), a role previously held by Ben Ward who moved across to the chief operating officer (COO) position.
As CIO, Black will lead the Information Services team – made up of around 50 employees – and will manage QBCC’s information, technology, support, systems and networks. The Brisbane-based position will report to COO Ward.
Black told CIO Australia his new remit involves continuing the existing work the QBCC had already set into motion – particularly the push towards cloud.
“QBCC has been moving its information systems into the cloud and that is largely complete. What that allows us to do now is to start building further into advanced analytics and how that influences the activities of the QBCC and policy,” he said.
“The thing that attracted me here was it is really a self-contained organisation in terms of information systems control and direction, which means we can really be much more agile in the way we take ideas and iterate through them and deliver them and improve them.”
Asked his thoughts on analytics, Black said it is key to future opportunities for any organisation.
“It will impact every organisation in different ways. It might not be obvious at first as to how it will impact QBCC, but I think as we learn what the opportunities are and how that informs both the operations and policy setting, that will evolve. Analytics is one of the areas where you can truly iterate as a business and start to learn how to do things with it and what the opportunities are.
“It will be a journey for QBCC like any other organisation.”
QBCC, the building industry regulator, was formed following the demise of the Queensland Building Services Authority (QBSA) in 2012.
QBCC has gone through a significant transformation of its technology and culture. Formed in 2013, the QBCC replaced the QBSA which was plagued by ‘bias, rudeness, bad behaviour and incompetent decisions’ according to the 2012 parliamentary inquiry that resulted in its dissolution.
Black was previously the CIO at Queensland Health’s Metro North Hospital and Health Service, which is the largest health service in Queensland by catchment area, which serves 900,000 people in the suburbs north of the Brisbane River.
It manages the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital, Redcliffe Hospital, Caboolture Hospital and Kilcopy Hospital.
Among the projects Black implemented at the hospital was the implementation of a new clinical referrals platform.
Black looked back on his former role at Metro North, highlighting some of the key achievements.
“The e-referral, Phase One, and clinical portal was certainly, something from a business point of view, pretty exciting. Also Metro North was moving into a more sophisticated analytics platform, so we’d been doing it in various guises and now it’s starting to consolidate. In healthcare, analytics is such a huge opportunity. Metro North hasn’t moved into artificial intelligence in a broad way yet, but analytics and data lakes really set the scene for that.”
Modernising the environment was another big achievement, he added.
“Metro North created a content neutral archive, and that was a really positive thing for the organisation because it gives them a way of storing unstructured clinical data in a way that it can be lifecycle managed and available to clinicians more broadly rather than the traditional silos of clinical filing of data.”
Black was also previously on the Qld Branch Executive Committee for the Australian Computer Society from 2012 to 2013, and held numerous positions at IT vendor SPARQ Solutions before moving across to Metro Health North.
In the new QBCC role, Black will be tasked with demonstrating a “commitment to a culture of accountability, continuous improvement and a focus on performance and delivery, as well as proven, extensive management experience leading an Information Services team and sub functions,” according to the original job ad.
The CIO will focus on achieving objectives in difficult circumstance whilst remaining positive” and to respond “under pressure in a calm manner”.