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ACS Week in Review: 9 May 2014

Friday, 09 May 2014

Randi Zuckerberg to speak to ACS members in Melbourne – click here to attend

The Australian ICT sector understands that technology underpins the creation of competitive advantage, and more and more, organisations are focussing on how to develop the skills of their work teams in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Randi Zuckerberg is Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a New York Times Best-Selling Author and Editor-in-Chief of lifestyle website DotComplicated.co, formerly the Director of Market Development and official Spokeswoman for Facebook, and in 2010 was ranked among 50 "Digital Power Players" by the Hollywood Reporter.

The topic for Randi’s keynote will be ‘Opportunities for a tech entrepreneur in the age of digital disruption’ and who better to share their own personal story than someone who was there from the start of digital disruption through social media.

After the keynote, a short panel discussion is planned where Ms Zuckerberg will be joined on stage by some influential people in Australian IT.

Older IT staff replaced by ‘cheap 457 skills’

The Australian Computer Society says companies are still abusing the 457 temporary skilled migration scheme to hire workers from overseas over local candidates, despite attempts to crack down on over-use of the visa.

The technology workers’ lobby said in a submission to the Department of Immigration’s independent review of the scheme that while 457 visas were necessary to fill a perceived gap in local skills available in the technology industry, some companies were not properly searching for local talent first.

In some cases, it alleged companies had posted vacant positions online on Facebook for less than 12 hours to comply with rules mandating that companies search locally before determining whether a 457 visa is required.

“The ACS has received feedback from individuals of alleged employer abuse of the 457 Visa scheme,” it said. “Typically this feedback is where employers are perceived to have retrenched older ICT workers and replaced them with ‘cheap’ 457 skills due to perceived short-term cost and productivity drivers.”

Big Data’s role is getting bigger as Australia leads adoption

Big data, or data analytics – technology that extracts value and meaning from large pools of unstructured data – will progressively overtake traditional applications that use their own, siloed and highly structured data bases, says a veteran of big data development.

Doug Cutting, one of the original developers of the widely used open source big data platform Hadoop. is now the chief architect at Cloudera, a software company that works with Hadoop for organisations reluctant to rely solely on open source software.

In a keynote presentation at the CeBIT 2014 expo in Sydney on Wednesday, Cutting will say there's a revolution in progress in data management and data processing.

Commonwealth Bank CIO Michael Harte calls it quits

Commonwealth Bank of Australia's (CBA) chief information officer, Michael Harte, has called it quits after eight years to take up the role of chief operations and technology officer at Barclays Bank in London.

Harte, who will finish up mid-year, has been responsible for making some notable changes to the company's IT infrastructure, including delivering the bank's core banking modernisation project, on which 1,500 people for nearly six years have been working to replace the group's legacy banking systems.

Some project successes that Harte has been responsible for include the introduction of the bank's real-time settlement and banking, mobile banking app Kaching, and its POS platform, Pi.

Harte has also been an advocate believer in cloud adoption. Under his leadership, CBA has managed to halve costs across certain areas after making a partial movement to the cloud. In November 2012, Harte had challenged local businesses to ditch the "garbage" excuses they were being fed and move into the cloud.