Interview: Callaghan Innovation’s approach to smarter IT

CDO Jen Cherrington shares advice on how New Zealand IT organisations can partner better, tackle skills gaps, and be smarter about data.

A light bulb consists of a network of sparks. [ideas / innovation / creativity / transformation]
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Commercialising niche applications and finding business models for new areas of science and technology are the purposes of New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation. But how do you provide the IT support when there is no one tool or application that fits everybody?

jen cherrington mowat 1 1 Callaghan Innovations

Jen Cherrington, chief digital officer at Callaghan Innovations

That’s the question that confronts Callaghan Innovations Chief Digital Officer Jen Cherrington every day. “These innovators are doing the bleeding edge work. One of the dilemmas is ‘Are we bleeding edge enough to help them?’”

Cherrington has been in the role six months and was previously chief technology officer at energy firm Genesis. This was after returning to New Zealand following 25 years in the UK working for organisations such as eBay, Amazon, and BT. At Callaghan Innovation, she leads a team of more than 50 people, whose capability she describes as the “full skill set”—infrastructure, applications, cloud, and security expertise.

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