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ACS Week in Review: 31 October 2014

Friday, 31 Oct 2014

Digital engagement: more than child’s play

Sector-hopping CIO Paul Young wants to create digital experiences that add value to some of the world’s most terrifyingly physical ones.

If it’s engagement you want, there are few experiences quite as terrifying as hurtling down the 115 metre decline of Dreamworld’s Tower of Terror.

So says Paul Young, the newly crowned CIO at Queensland entertainment conglomerate Ardent Leisure Group, when asked what impact advances in online gaming might have on the distinctly physical business of running theme parks like Dreamworld and franchised gyms and bowling alleys.

“It’s a thought provoking question: could a digital experience replace something so physical?” he says. “They are very different experiences, and complementary.

Keeping the peace – Vincent Dempsey in the CXO Challenge

It takes a thick skin to mediate between the IT and digital camps.

In May this year, Vodafone Australia parted ways with its chief information officer, and did not hire a new one.

The CIO role, the company announced, would be ‘absorbed’ into the broader technology team.

Vodafone, like fellow telco Telstra and many others, has over recent years run two technology teams: one that predominantly manages internal systems (IT), and one that manages online interactions with customers (digital).

A new perspective on digital leadership

Is the coalface of a bank’s technology operations the data centre, or the contact centre?

Former National Australia Bank CIO Adam Bennett is the first executive general manager of the bank to choose an office in the company’s Sydney-based call centre rather than in the bank’s plush executive headquarters in Melbourne.

Bennett’s role is executive general manager of digital and direct banking - and regardless of how broad you believe the divide is between the ‘IT’ and ‘Digital’ functions of a bank - Bennett is unlikely to be the last CIO to take a sideways step.

Bennett sees colocating with a contact centre as a “natural extension” of his prior work - both as CIO and as EGM of enterprise transformation.