THE MINISTRY OF Foreign Affairs is responsible for overseeing New Zealand’s relations with foreign countries. It is the government’s principal source of advice in areas such as foreign and trade policy, international climate change negotiations and diplomatic and consular issues.
Collaboration and communications technologies are critical for its 1390 staff based in the head office in Wellington and in 59 diplomatic missions in 50 countries around the world.
Over the past year, the ICT team, led by CIO Mike Pilkington, has worked on a range of projects including the replacement of the International Development Group’s program and activity management systems, upgrading of the HR systems, upgrading and consolidating web platforms onto the Common Web Platform, as well as a mobility programme.
Pilkington is expecting the ICT budget to remain steady this year, but the business ICT project portfolio will temporarily drive up ICT staff numbers.
He says the ministry will continue to have major technology investments on application modernisation, security/risk management technologies, infrastructure consolidation, enterprise architecture and video conferencing/telepresence.
He says some of the challenges the ICT team will face in upcoming months are agility/speed of deployment of projects, managing complexity of systems and apps, and competing for skilled staff.