Inside Fonterra’s incremental digital transformation

CIO Toby Granwal outlines the New Zealand dairy cooperative’s rebalancing of in-house and contracted talen, and the simplification of its IT infrastructure.

fonterra c2 milk tanker at te rapa dairy factory

For business leaders, there will always be a tension between directly employing capability and contracting it out. For IT leaders undergoing digital transformation, this balance is crucial as organisations move from on-premises to the cloud. For Fonterra CIO Toby Granwal, getting the right mix of in-house talent versus outsourced partners is absolutely critical.

Increasing in-house capability for digital transformation

toby granwal fonterra square Fonterra

Toby Granwal, CIO, Fonterra

Fonterra, the New Zealand-based global dairy cooperative, employs about 20,000 people, of which 250 people are part of the IT division. There are also about 1,250 people working as vendors or contractors for the organisation. “It’s sizeable, but that model we need to think about: What is the right balance between what we do and the [intellectual property] that we retain, and how do we partner better or differently?” he says.

The sweeping organisational restructure at Fonterra to cut costs a couple of years ago when “the financial results were not what they are now” resulted in a loss of technical capability that is now having to be addressed.

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