by CIO New Zealand

CIO100 2018 #31-100: Paul Jepson, ACC

Mar 28, 2018
Big DataCareersCloud Computing

For the past two years, ACC has been delivering transformational business change that puts our customers at the heart of what we do, says Paul Jepson, CIO of ACC.

“This transformation programme is all about improving our customers’ outcomes and experience. To do this, and to deliver better customer service, requires an integrated approach across our people, processes, technology and information,” says Jepson.

Jepson, who moved to the Earthquake Commission in February as general manager, says several transformation initiatives were delivered by his team in the past year. Peter Fletcher, former group manager information technology at NZ Post, is now the new CIO at ACC.

The programmes delivered by the team include:

Simplifying levy invoices: Business customers now receive levies that are easier to understand, he says.

MyACC for business: This is an online self-service for business customers, providing easy access to information and services they require,resulting ina better online experience and enabling them to manage their account any time, on any device.

Modernisation of ACC’s contact centres: This is an ongoing programme that includes extending the contact centre hours, providing the right tools to make things faster, simpler and easier for customers, cross training employees to enable resolution of more calls at the first point of contact.

Modern workspace: In early 2017, ACC moved into new premises in Christchurch and took the opportunity to deliver a new modern technology experience for staff. This included providing a more modern desktop experience for their staff that utilises office 365, an integrated wireless environment on the ACC network, and a new unified communications environment utilising Skype for Business. This is now being rolled out to the rest of the organisation.

Public cloud adoption: In December 2016, ACC established its first workloads in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud offering.

This was the first public sector adoption of its kind and since this date we have increased our 550 servers with plans to increase significantly through 2018, says Jepson.

“This technology will enable ACC to drive its transformation more effectively and efficiently, whilst realising a lower total cost of operation in the long term.

“We intend to progressively adopt public cloud services as we move from owning ICT assets to purchasing services,” he adds.

The medium to long-term strategy is to adopt “as-a-service” as the standard method of service delivery.

“To support our business in transforming we needed to ensure we were well-placed to accelerate our adoption of public cloud services,” he says.

To enable this, ACC consolidated and virtualised a large element of its IT infrastructure and systems, and developed a strategy for moving the back-office functions and core business systems to cloud services.

“We have now established this core capability with our core outsourced service delivery partner, and are using this to support our business transformation.”

He says the adoption of a “service based” model is essential to succeed in the use and management of cloud and the shift away from managing IT infrastructure through an “asset lifecycle” approach.

“This demands different skills across service design; service implementation; service performance and service assurance to ensure that you operate the new environment effectively,” he says.

For Jepson, building a strong, effective, self-sufficient team is essential to delivering on ACC’s transformational objectives.

“I have achieved this by ensuring that a clear vision is articulated; one that aligns with the organisation’s intentions and objectives and one that makes sense for all.

“Constructing the right team to deliver this is important to achieving the objectives. This was achieved through designing an operating model with associated roles that could meet the goals set. These roles were then filled with the right people with the right skills; behaviour and team fit.”

Regular team sessions reflecting on personal and collective goals and progress against stated intentions, keeps everyone’s eye on the target Jepson says. These sessions include guest speakers providing a customer perspective on what’s working and what could be improved and expert advice on leveraging different techniques to better self-manage.

Regular communications by way of broadcast emails and Intranet articles are utilised to provide a high-level overview of key activities he says.

Jepson says the biggest lesson he has learned during his time as a CIO is the importance of partnerships.

“With the growing pace of change and expectation you can only be successful if you effectively leverage internal and external partnerships,” he says.