Utilities provider Service Stream has appointed the former global IT manager for chemicals giant Orica, Hubert van Dalen, as its new chief information officer.
Former CIO Craig Wishart - who was named a finalist in last year’s iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Service Stream - left the company in October to take up a position at IT solutions company UXC.
Service Stream’s head of business systems and solutions Harry Wilson acted as the interim CIO until van Dalen was appointed in the role this month.
Van Dalen’s long history in IT management kicked off in 1998 when he became the ASEAN IT operations manager for Atos Origin.
Following stints in various countries with the likes of Logica, CMG, and Philips Semiconductors, van Dalen came to Australia to work for Westpac as its head of IT service delivery - a change he said was hard, given he’d moved from “the fastest industry in the world (computer chips) to the slowest (banking)”.
After leaving Westpac and spending a year running his own IT consultancy, van Dalen was brought into Orica to work on the same project he’d delivered for Philips - working on a global standard for its infrastructure and operations.
His experience harmonising IT for the 53 countries Orica operated in - and more specifically moving the businesses to platforms like ServiceNow and Interactive Intelligence - provided him the expertise needed for the work he'll take on at Service Stream.
“Service Stream is trying to enable their business processes with the same platforms as we rolled out in Orica - ServiceNow and Interactive Intelligence,” van Dalen said.
He was swayed by the opportunity to move up from his previous 2IC roles and into the executive team - the Service Stream CIO reports into the CEO - as well as the chance to work with what he called a “new, dynamic executive team”.
“We are all high-energy and excited about the future, and the forecast looks really good. IT can be the differentiator enabling the business to be very successful.”
Van Dalen pulled out three key priorities to focus on in his new role. Firstly, he wants to enable the workforce - as a utility provider, Service Stream leans heavily on its contractors, meaning workforce management forms a central part of the company’s business.
“Workforce management is one of the key processes here, with everything related to that from a safety point of view, from payments efficiency, to how quickly can you verify the quality of contractors,” he said.
He also wants to improve how the business approaches and delivers on projects, including how they are managed and linked to financial milestones, and has also set his sights on making tickets, or small jobs, more efficient.
“These are three key processes that we would like to get as effective and efficient as possible to differentiate ourselves in the market,” he said.
The early stages of planning means the technical details for how each of these transformations will be tackled are yet to be nutted out, but van Dalen is clear in his goal to deliver each of the three in parallel.
“It’s not clear yet whether we need other ones besides [ServiceNow and Interactive Intelligence]. We have to simplify the architecture - there are some legacy applications out there and we have to look at whether we bring them on these platforms or do we have three or four key platforms,” he said.