Benchmark Awards: Calibre, Fortescue or Pacific Aluminium?

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Benchmark Awards: Calibre, Fortescue or Pacific Aluminium?

Judging notes: Who will be Industrials CIO of the Year?

Technology leaders from Calibre Global, Fortescue Metals and Rio-Tinto-owned Pacific Aluminium have been chosen as finalists for the CIO Benchmark Awards.

One will be chosen as Industrials CIO of the Year in 2012 at the Benchmark Awards ceremony on February 26, and all three are in the running to be crowned Australia's 'CIO of the Year'.

Australian CIOs and senior IT managers are welcome to cast their vote on our CIO-only LinkedIn Group prior to close of business on February 1, 2013.

Today we take a look at the submissions in the Industrials sector — stay tuned as we feature finalists from the remaining four sectors over the coming days.

It was very rewarding to read so many great submissions in this category, particularly from mining and resources companies.

The projects that came in fourth and fifth in our rankings were absolutely worthy of being finalists - trailing the top three by one and two votes.

The highlights for the judges tended to be projects that were delivered in aggressive time frames - it's clear that this industry is under pressure to outperform each other in an operations sense and IT is contributing what it can.

There were also some great stories about renewal of faith in IT departments — some key appointments of experienced CIOs at several mining and resources companies has clearly boosted morale and the level of project success.

We have recorded our judges notes on video to aid the voting process:


The finalists:

Jason Cowie, CIO, Calibre Global
Project: R4 Project (Review, Rate, Revise, Refresh)
Calibre Global engaged in a 10-stage turnaround process with a restructured IT team, new goals and performance metrics and the re-launch of a stalled ERP project. The degree to which Calibre's internal capability has transformed is stark — end user satisfaction with the IT function has risen from 32 percent to 94 percent.
"The revitalisation of a moribund IT department through smart deployment of systems and processes."
"This restructure sets the stage for a large body of work to upgrade Calibre's ERP system and embrace the cloud delivery model."
"Calibre before and after Jason Cowie is a case study in why organisations must have a CIO function."

Vito Forte, CIO, Fortescue Metals
Project: New World of Work
Among a slew of other technology refresh projects, Forte led the adoption of a new Standard Operating Environment that also underpinned a BYOD strategy and adoption of SaaS (Microsoft Office365). The 'New World of Work' program was a showcase in vendor management and prevented the rapidly growing organisation from needing to move into new office space.
"Delivering this body of work in under six months was a feat."
"A strong example of how a fast-growth but cost-constrained organisation could utilise new technology to bring costs in line with expectations."
"Vito Forte is among the industry's most outspoken CIOs — challenging vendors to meet his needs — he will not shy away from difficult conversations."
Gavin Bills, GM Technology, Pacific Aluminium
Project: IT separation project - service desk
Facing a tight deadline to separate from Rio Tinto and under extreme cost pressures, Pacific Aluminium turned to a new SaaS solution for its IT service desk and within 30 days was supporting 4000 employees on the platform, driving ongoing annual savings of around 20 percent.
"A rapid implementation that came in under-budget and delivered on its goals."
"A solid project with clear ROI metrics."
"This submission gave us a well-supported insight into the sense of urgency and context behind this implementation."


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