FLETCHER BUILDING IS one of the largest listed companies in New Zealand,
In October 2014, Fletcher Building began a multi-faceted transformation programme. The aim of the programme was to centralise core business functions across more than 50-plus business units around the globe; establish a standardised and consistent delivery model and to drive the creation of value through digital transformation.
The programme will continue this year, says CIO John Bell, who joined Fletcher Building in November. He was a senior partner at Deloitte, and had 30 years business and technology consulting experience in both public and private sectors.
At Fletcher Building, Bell heads a team of 413, with nearly half based in Fletcher Building companies overseas. The team is focused on providing core infrastructure, IT services, ubiquitous digital services, contents and tools to the workforce – composed of 8500 staff in New Zealand and 18,800 globally.
As part of the digital transformation stream, Fletcher Building established a Digital Innovation Lab. The purpose of the lab was to enable business units to work on smaller, digital projects and moving these forward if they can provide value.
This was based on a realisation that as the corporate ICT works on larger business technology projects, smaller teams can experiment on innovative, digital projects using disruptive technologies. Many of the apps developed in the lab can be reused across business units, achieving further ROI. The lab also provides examples of how to run rapid, agile and value delivering projects.
The Innovation Lab has delivered a number of customer centric applications that are driving business growth, says Bell, and Fletcher Building is continuing to invest in and expand this capability.
Bell says the aim is to improve the company’s digital interaction with customers by gaining a deeper insight into their needs and providing solutions that meet those needs.
Customer centricity is a key theme across Fletcher Building’s digitalisation programme. “Improving our digital interaction with customers will be an ongoing journey,” Bell stresses.
As the company expands its digital footprint and focus, the IT team needs to provide the platform and environment that will allow the teams to work at different IT speeds.
Bell also highlights the need to adopt Agile as a way of carrying out the business. “We need to be more responsive to our business units and adopting more Agile ways of working will help in this regard,” he explains.
He is also keen to explore the adoption of the DevOps model but recognises the degree of change this will drive within both Operations and Application teams.
Fletcher Building is also leveraging cloud solutions. The team is using hybrid cloud to drive greater agility and speed in service delivery.
Bell says in the past year, the HR team has also implemented Workday, a cloud-based finance and HR software, which enabled the delivery of HR information in a consistent way across the global organisation. The team also delivered collaboration and engagement tools through a common intranet.
Bell shares a large list of projects for this year which include initiatives to transform the technology function itself, as well as projects that will help enable the business units to be more effective, both in back-office processing and in improving the customer experience.