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ACS Week In Review: 14 February 2014

Friday, 14 Feb 2014

ACS Chief Brenda Aynsley OAM wants women to join ICT industry

ADELAIDE’S Brenda Aynsley intends marking her term as the first woman to lead the Australian Computer Society with a campaign to encourage more females to join the profession.

The committed Information and Communications Technology (ICT) specialist said only 17 per cent of the industry was made up of women.

After starting work in the top role on January 1, she had already begun overseeing a campaign that initially involved filming the stories of successful women in ICT.

“I think it’s the way we teach people computer and IT, it’s seen as geek, as a boy thing, boys are encouraged to be more scientific than girls and IT is still defining itself,” Ms Aynsley said.

It’s the second time Ms Aynsley has vied for the top job at the society having originally nominated 10 years ago.

She failed to win support that time but Ms Aynsley believed the appointment now was not about her being a woman; it was about being the best person for the job.

New principles offer a point of difference

THE next month of new Australian Privacy Principles represents an opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves by the way they handle their customers’ personal information.

Revelations in The Australian last month that 50 per cent of organisations would not be compliant when the new principles came into effect on March 12 highlighted the need for companies and government agencies to urgently raise the profile of privacy issues.

Organisations with annual turnover of more than $3 million must:

· Update their privacy policy.

· Review and update their information handling processes, including contingencies for data breaches.

· Update privacy statements advising consumers how their information is used.

· Conduct a privacy audit and address any gaps or areas of non-compliance.

· Develop an internal privacy compliance guide.

· Train staff in the correct handling of personal data.

NSW brings civil court form system into online era

The NSW Government will allow members of the public involved in a civil lawsuit to lodge and manage documents online via an updated registry.

The registry had been trialled with 150 organisations (including law firms and mercantile agents) across the state for the past year, but is now open to members of the wider public.

Civil court forms were previously required to be lodged by paper, in person at a court registry or by post. To check on the progress of a case, the user either had to visit or call a court registry.

The new electronic version allows registered users to lodge and view their case information online. iTnews understands documents previously lodged via paper will be digitised onto the new system, but will not be available to download.

The system is based on a Java platform, including the Spring framework and Hibernate object-relational mapping (ORM) library, running on IBM’s Websphere application server. 

CBA cashes in on $589 million investment in technology

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has highlighted in announcing its half-year results that technology has been and will continue to be a key investment priority.

The bank reported a 16 percent increase in statutory net profit after tax (NPAX) to AU$4.2 billion from the corresponding period in the previous year.

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev said the result demonstrates the bank's focus on its long-term strategic priorities — people, technology, strength, and productivity.

"All of our businesses have performed well. We have strengthened our focus on enhancing the financial well-being of our customers, and have used our leading technology platform to deliver innovative products and services to business and personal customers," he said.

According to Narev, the company invested AU$589 million during the half year in technology, productivity, and risk. As a result, the company was able to introduce a new CommBank app in December, which now has over 1 million registered users; video conferencing across its network of branches; smaller, smarter express branches that focused on self-service; and more simplified processes that saw an 80 percent reduction in online account opening times.