Far from flitting to Australia, our award winners are staying behind to produce some world-leading technology.
Despite the need for New Zealand to push into IT, our traditional industries like farming have shown they can come up trumps with new technology.
Our biggest dairy firm and major exporter, Hamilton-based New Zealand Dairy Group, has just undergone its largest ever information systems overhaul with Project Apia.
This project, the Excellence in the Use of IT in ERP category winner, involved a massive undertaking, which we can all hope will provide the “quantum leap in business efficiencies” expected to bring further worldwide success for the company.
Project Apia, which involved one computer system for the entire organisation, also saw its general manager of information services Wayne O’Halloran, the ‘anchor’ man for the project, become a finalist in the IS Manager of the Year category.
This section was won by Ross Hughson of AXA New Zealand, who helped handle the problems of the relocation of senior IT staff to Australia, following the takeover of National Mutual by French-owned AXA.
He reorganised the company and sorted out the operations here. As more of our firms head overseas or are bought out by foreign interests, perhaps his skills are something more Kiwis should learn.
This should give food for thought to another of our winners, Alasdair Thompson of the Employers & Manufacturers Association (Northern), who wins our CEO IT Vision category.
Thompson has come to grips with the organisation, taking it into the 21st Century with new technology, better services and campaigns, and aiming to reverse a long-running membership decline.
The new technology is making EMA arguments easier to produce and now Thompson is a regular pro-business face on television.
However, the Computerworld Excellence Awards provide some good news for the government.
The New Zealand National Library with its new Te Puna computer system has become a world leader in technology, with a number of national libraries following in its footsteps.
Furthermore, our judges say the system provides a solid foundation for the development of a number of e-Government initiatives.
This is illustrated by the Department of Conservation's and Fujitsu New Zealand's Connect 2000 project. It links Doc’s myriad databases and packages to serve a centralised information system and make huge efficiency savings for the organisation.
What success the government might have next year, only time and perhaps the recent budget will tell.
Indeed, that budget with its e-commerce and business initiatives may impact on all our success, not to mention all the entries in the 2001 Computerworld Excellence Awards.
This year’s winners are:
- Excellence in the Use of IT in Government - National Library of New Zealand.
- Excellence in the Use of Enterprise Resource Planning - New Zealand Dairy Group for Project Apia.
- Excellence in the Use of IT in Education - Heurisko for Learnz 99
- Best People Practice in IT - AXA New Zealand.
- Excellence in Internet Commerce - The Marketplace Company for Comit.
- Technology Innovator of the Year - Infolink for Infoshare.
- CEO IT Vision Winner - Alasdair Thompson, Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern).
- IS Manager of the Year - Ross Hughson, AXA New Zealand.
- Most Successful Project Implementation of the Year - Department of Conservation and Fujitsu New Zealand for Connect 2000.
- Overall Excellence in the Use of IT - CourierPost