Defence CIO group finds its missing tech deputy

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Defence CIO group finds its missing tech deputy

Five-member leadership team complete.

The Department of Defence has found its last missing chief information officer group (CIOG) deputy, ending a year-long period in which it was without a full five-member leadership team.

Dean Welsh joined as the department’s ICT delivery first assistant secretary in April, completing CIOG’s line-up of senior executives.

He replaces former head Paul Cazaz, who left the department after two-and-a-half years in July 2019 to become ME Bank’s core banking (IT) general manager.

Cazaz’s departure came just two months after Defence’s long-time chief technology officer Aiyaswami Mohan also left CIOG.

Welsh joins Defence from Australia Post, where he spent almost two years as the head of strategy and architecture, as well as enterprise architect for the chief technology officer.

He was seconded into the head of strategy and architecture position in late 2018 to lead a “telecommunication, mobility, communications and collaboration, contact centre transformation”, according to his LinkedIn. 

 Welsh appears to have left the postal service around the same time that Munro Farmer replaced John Cox as CIO and a number of IT projects were paused or stopped.

Prior to joining AusPost, Welsh spent six years at Telstra, including just two years as general manager of software development for Telstra Global Services, and 11 years at Alcatel-Lucent.

In his senior executive service level two bracket role at Defence, Welsh will oversee the division responsible for acquiring new tech capability and engaging with industry.

He will also continue the long-running consolidation of Defence's single information environment.

A spokesperson told iTnews that Welsh brings a "wealth of experience in global ICT service organisations with a successful career spanning 35 years" to Defence.

He has been successful in "managing large complex programs ...involving significant technical and organisational change", and understands the "importance of stakeholder expectation management and the mix between people and technical capability", the department said.

The April appointment means Defence CIOG is with a full five-member leadership team for the first time since May 2019.

The team, led by CIO Steven Pearson, consists of new CTO Justin Keefe, who acted in the role for six months last year before becoming the permanent replacement in January.

Other members of the leadership team include ICT service delivery and reform first assistant secretary Jeff Goedecke and ICT operations strategic head Michael Rothwell.

Last month, Defence revealed it is planning fewer complex IT projects in the future, with plans now underway to introduce a “rolling forward work program”.

The program, dubbed the “ICT Capability Assurance Program”, is expected to allow Defence to ensure systems are up-to-date and secure by relying more heavily on more iterative IT capabilities.

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