The year ahead for Fulton Hogan CIO Brian Northern

What’s on the tech horizon for Fulton Hogan CIO Brian Northern in 2021 as New Zealand—and the world—emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic?

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There’s a new mantra among the IT team at trans-Tasman construction firm Fulton Hogan that goes something like “It doesn’t need to be perfect, but it does need to be fast.”

brian northern of fulton hogan Fulton Hogan

Brian Northern, CIO of Fulton Hogan

CIO Brian Northern says speed and scale are the two lessons from the pandemic year that he will be taking into 2021. “Pre-pandemic, it was probably ‘Make sure it’s right and although change is coming, we don’t want a whole lot of it at once.’ Now we are more accepting of change, and it’s got to be fast.”

This approach was validated when Northern’s team deployed Microsoft Teams in 10 days rather than in the three months that had originally been planned. They also showed it was possible to scale solutions when, for example, they went from enabling 20% of staff to work remotely pre-COVID, to more than 80% of staff working from home during the lockdowns.

Northern is based in Christchurch and had become used to travelling across the Tasman to visit his team and fellow executives prior to the pandemic. This is something he expects to resume when quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia is enabled.

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