by Hamish Barwick

Q&A: AMP CIO, Lee Barnett

May 15, 20123 mins
Risk Management

After racking up 10 years as CIO of financial services firm AMP (ASX: AMP), Lee Barnett shows no signs of slowing down. During that time she has been involved in a number of projects including customer online portals and a private Cloud migration of email services.

Barnett spoke with CIO Australia about some of these projects, brain training and why she would like a robot personal assistant.

What does an average work day involve for you at AMP?

Steering committees, governance boards, catching up with my team and a bit of think time. I’ve just started reading a book called Brain Rules by John Medina, and it seems there is clear scientific evidence about the importance of exercise to brain functioning. As a result, I am going to have to make the time to add exercise into the work day as well.

What are some of the challenges you face in the role of CIO?

Keeping all the details, systems and projects in my head. A perennial challenge is around continuing to develop as a leader–a never ending journey. There have been a lot of challenges over the last decade including a demerger [of AMP’s UK operations in 2003] and integrations following the acquisition of AXA Asia-Pacific Holding’s Australia and New Zealand operations in 2011.

I have enjoyed them all in hindsight, as they have provided me with real growth opportunities as a person as well as a professional.

What are some of the major projects you have been working on?

  • An integration project in relation to the rebuild of our Planner and customer on-line portals.
  • Implementation of AMP’s new collaboration suite for all staff.
  • Constitution and chairmanship of a new digital governance board.
  • In addition, there have been a significant number of integration projects including the rollout of a new Identity Access Management solution as well as infrastructure projects associated with the transition from AXA Tech to CSC.

    What are the three biggest issues facing CIO’s today?

  • The simultaneous need to invest and cut costs in a challenging economic climate and in an environment of changing customer expectations and behaviour.
  • Placing the right bets in a world of too many opportunities–and getting the timing right.
  • Rising complexity in the portfolio.
  • What is your favourite gadget?

    I haven’t got it yet but I want a robot like Rosie in the Jetsons that cooks, cleans, walks the dog and is a personal trainer.

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