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ACS Week in Review: 25 July 2014

Friday, 25 Jul 2014

Earning the right to innovate – CXO Challenge

Breaking down the barriers to innovation is a long, but rewarding process, says Bank of Queensland Group CIO, Julie Bale.

In 2012, after close to ten years of underinvestment in IT and facing the onset of new and unfamiliar competition, the Bank of Queensland urgently needed a change agent to run IT.

They found Julie Bale - an executive with an appetite for change that was already well grounded in the realities of running IT within a tier two bank.

Bale has spent less than 18 months as group CIO at the Bank of Queensland after stints at ING Direct and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, but has been quick to make her presence felt.

Paul Fletcher says reforms are coming remove innovation blockers

The federal government has denied it’s moving too slowly on economic reforms to foster the technology start-ups by again voicing its support for the removal of major "blockers" of innovation.

Paul Fletcher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, said on Tuesday the government was working hard to remove barriers blocking the development of Australia’s technology sector.

At an event hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, Mr Fletcher said the government recognised the need for reform in two areas about which the technology industry has been particularly vocal: changing tax regulations to accommodate employee share schemes and adjusting securities legislation to allow start-ups to raise capital via crowdfunding.

The Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (CAMAC) handed its recommendations on crowdfunding to Treasury in May. The committee was axed in the federal budget.

Hi-tech locks failing to meet fire regulations

AUSTRALIANS wanting to install new hi-tech front-door locks may find they may not meet fire regulations.

As part of the push towards the connected home, established US lock manufacturers and start-ups are marketing hi-tech front-door locks that open with a smartphone app using an encrypted key code — an eKey. Some can be programmed from across the internet and some compile a log of people entering and exiting.

One US household name, Kwikset, has announced plans to bring its Bluetooth 4-enabled Kwikset Kevo lock to Australia in October. It will cost $329 here.

Once installed, a user with a designated eKey on their iPhone can open a front door by touching the Kevo lock with their hand, or they can use a fob or key as backup.

Owners can grant access to a babysitter or tradesman by emailing them an eKey, which can be programmed to work at particular times on a designated day.