by Divina Paredes

Movers and shakers: Russell Jones, Allan Lightbourne and Craig Soutar

Apr 03, 2017
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Russell Jones credits the ASB executives and his team after he topped the 2017 CIO100 list of New Zealand’s most innovative CIOs.

Jones cites the ASB executives, “for giving us the room to focus on digital initiatives and reorganise our technology [function]”.

“It as a team effort, involving everyone in technology and innovation,” he adds.

Jones received the citation for his work as executive general manager, technology and innovation, where he led a team of 547 staff.

Jones became executive general manager – retail banking at ASB in February.

Simon Tong took on the executive general manager, technology and innovation post at ASB last week. He came from Fairfax Media, where he was managing director. Before that, Tong was CEO of Paymark, New Zealand’s largest payments network.

Simon Tong

Allan Lightbourne is moving to Tauranga City Council as inaugural Chief Digital Officer.

Lightbourne was most recently Head of ICT at Mighty River Power (now Mercury). He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Future Leaders Programme at the University of Auckland.

Tauranga City Council’s creation of an executive position of Chief Digital Officer reflects the importance of customer experience, technology and continuing to meet the changing needs of the city to become an internationally competitive city, says Lightbourne.

“The role of CDO is about so much more than simply digital interactions,” Lightbourne tells CIO New Zealand.

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The role of CDO is so much more than simply digital interactions. It is about a journey, allowing our customers to interact with our people, tools and services in a way that suits them.Allan Lightbourne, Tauranga City Council

“It is about a journey, allowing our customers to interact with our people, tools and services in a way that suits them. Also, we want to continue to support the council team to be the best they can, through the processes and systems that we provide them.”

“I’m looking forward to getting to know the city and its people, as we work towards providing a high standard of living for all and creating a great place to live and do business”.

Craig Soutar is moving to Healthcare of New Zealand as head of decision and system support.

Before this, Soutar was CIO for nearly eight years at New Zealand Transport Agency. Soutar joined NZTA after a transitional period working as an independent ICT consultant and six years at ANZ National Bank.

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Para Ganesan is now general manager, technology and innovation, at Primary ITO. Primary ITO offers nationally recognised, NZQA qualifications to over thirty primary industries. Before this, he was the CIO at IHC.

Clive Eastwood is now acting chief information officer at WorkSafe New Zealand.

Career pathways: Cybersecurity

Cyber Security Researchers of Waikato (CROW) associate professor Ryan Ko says secondary school students need to be informed of the massive cybersecurity career potential for their personal benefit and that of the New Zealand economy.

“We need to train more Kiwis in cybersecurity to align with the fast growth and deployment of new technologies. This is important to protect New Zealand because tech is our fastest growing industry and a lapse in cyber capability would be detrimental to the economy,” says Ko.

“Only 23 per cent of board of directors actively participate in security policy and $34 billion could be added to the New Zealand economy if businesses made more effective use of the internet.

“A range of job roles are appearing within popular career sectors like government, law, research, teaching and insurance where there is a demand for employees who have skills and knowledge in cybersecurity,” he adds.

“Top executive positions are also being established that have chief risk officers reporting directly to the chief executive and if this trend continues, it opens up exciting career pathway opportunities for junior cyber security professionals,” he says.

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We need to train more Kiwis in cybersecurity to align with the fast growth and deployment of new technologiesRyan Ko, University of Waikato

CROW runs the annual New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge for secondary school students who want to learn more about cyber security, show off their skills and chat to industry experts about what it takes to develop a career in cyber security.

Around 500 participants from all over New Zealand are expected to compete from mid-June with the top 150 gathering at the University of Waikato campus in July to receive hands-on training and compete in teams to become the 2017 New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge Champions.

The Blockchain NZ 2017 confab

Blockchain Labs NZ, in association with the Blockchain Association of New Zealand (BANZ), have confirmed the author of Mastering Bitcoin, Andreas Antonopoulos, and founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin as keynote speakers at The Blockchain NZ 2017.

The Blockchain NZ 2017 conference is a highlight of the New Zealand Techweek, and will be held on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th of May 2017 at the Viaduct Event Centre in Auckland.

“We’re really aiming to host one of the highlight Blockchain Conferences of 2017 and New Zealand is an appealing location for a high caliber event,” says Fran Strajnar, CEO of BNC and Co-Founder of the Labs.

He says there will be 20 speakers at the event, all with deep and varying experience in the blockchain industry.

“The event is designed to educate, inspire and connect business leaders in both the public and private sectors around the exciting opportunities that new generation blockchains such as Ethereum have created,” says Mark Pascall, co-Founder of the Labs. “It will be a predominantly business audience we are especially looking for speakers who can talk about real life examples of how blockchain technologies are being applied.”

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