Dairy Board opts for two CIOs

The New Zealand Dairy Board is to appoint two new information chiefs this month as its information services team is split into two.

The New Zealand Dairy Board is to appoint two new information chiefs this month as its information services team is split into two.

The move means responsibility for IT investment is delegated and gets “our own house in order” before the imminent - but still uncertain - dairy mega-merger, says acting CIO Joost de Kock.

De Kock has been interim IT head for the past year on secondment from Boston Consulting Group, and has spearheaded the IS review project. He says his own position comes up for review as part of the IS re-organisation taking place over the next four to six months.

One of the two new CIOs will report to the board’s branded dairy products group, New Zealand Milk, while the other will have combined responsibilities to the global operations team and the international food ingredients business, NZMP. The move is meant to bring the IT positions closer to each unit’s business objective. “[Until now] IT has been driven from the centre and now it will be driven by the businesses,” de Kock says.

Each CIO will have responsibility for investment in IT projects within their portfolio, in an effort to make management processes for investment clear and “organise accountability”.

De Kock says while current technology has not been part of the review, all future tenders and new projects are to be rewritten to take account of these new processes. He wouldn’t be drawn on what these were, other than to say this applied to “all IS projects”.

The Dairy Board is said to have an IS team of 100, although the proportion of contractors is not clear. De Kock did not return phone calls to discuss specific numbers of staff to be placed in each of the two new teams.

The dairy industry merger, which will pull together the Dairy Board, New Zealand Dairy Group and Kiwi Co-Op Dairies, still faces approval from farmers in March. It cannot proceed unless competition watchdog the Commerce Commission sets aside – or is forced by parliament to set aside - its concerns.

De Kock says dairy industry IT heads have not yet met to review merger plans but says the Dairy Board is planning to discuss the issue “within the board” soon.

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