Defence hunts info chief

The 15,000-strong New Zealand Defence Force is seeking its first information chief 10 years after identifying a need for the role.

The 15,000-strong New Zealand Defence Force is seeking its first information chief 10 years after identifying a need for the role. The appointment comes as it plans to restructure its information services, including outsourcing various departments.

A Defence spokesman from the Joint Communications and Informations Staff says one of the CIO’s key tasks will be creating a new joint information system, or JISA. This will involve planning and implementing a merger of the Defence computing services bureau (DCSB) in Porirua with the Defence communications unit (DCU) at the NZDF’s Wellington headquarters.

“Defence is also looking at outsourcing elements of its information infrastructure, such as the WAN, voice network and other services, such as mobile phones over the next financial year, 2001/2002. Outsourcing elements of LAN services on Defence bases may also be considered in future phases,” the spokesman says.

He says the force has been “working hard” on planning the new role since 1998, having first ident-ified a need for it in 1991.

“The NZDS is one of the largest IT shops in the country and unique in that it not only has a large and highly complex fixed static information infrastructure but, more importantly, has a mobile information infrastructure that must move with a mobile force of aircraft, ships and Army units. The new CIO must either already understand this environment or get to grips with it quickly,” he says.

“In addition, the CIO will provide crucial strategic Defence level input and governance over how the Navy, Army and Airforce develop and operate their front-end tactical and operational C4 systems,” the spokesman says.

The new post, reporting directly to the Chief of Defence Force, also involves managing existing two senior information managers.

“We are looking for more of a business manager rather than an IT person, someone who is able to communicate in a highly political environment and effectively work with senior defence military officers and Defence civilians. The biggest challenge will be understanding and working in the defence culture,” he says.

The post pays a “market-tested” six-figure salary.

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