WA Police CIO quits

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WA Police CIO quits
Mike Schuman

Searches for new transformation challenge.

Western Australia Police chief information officer Mike Schuman has handed in his notice after almost 18 months with the agency to search for a new technology transformation challenge.

Schuman first joined the force in mid-2014 as its transformation director to enact organisational and technological change and develop an IT transformation strategy.

He was later that year appointed as acting CIO and scored the role permanently last April, leading a 200-strong IT division and a $110 million annual budget.

After laying down his vision for the future state of WA Police IT, Schuman spent the last year working to deliver the three key features of his transformation plan.

It included an organisational restructure to provide clearer lines of accountability and oversight; repairing IT's reputation within the business; and managed services, ERP and desktop reform.

Schuman told iTnews he felt he could now say with confidence that his team had executed on the strategy.

"It was never my intent to become a fixture and I’ve been working to facilitate my eventual departure from day one," he said.

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With the organisational restructure and internal branding work complete, WA Police is now turning its focus to technology reform.

The force last year went to market for outsourced managed network services but was unable to find a suitable solution.

It has instead decided to wait and watch the progress of Western Australia's whole-of-government efforts to shift to an as-a-service model.

The WA government last year hired its first-ever whole-of-government chief information officer, Giles Nunis, who has been tasked with ensuring the state’s $1 billion annual IT budget is spent well.

Nunis and team are expected to release WA's first whole-of-government IT strategy - which is likely to focus on cost savings and efficiencies - in the coming weeks.

The state released its first tender in the as-a-service overhaul late last year, detailing a five-year head agreement across the whole-of-government that will cover compute, storage, and unified communications network-as-a-service.

It's this head agreement Schuman says WA Police hopes to take advantage of.

"We have seen a tectonic shift in strategic direction over the last 18 months across WA state government ICT and I am very excited about the future," he said.

"[WA Police's] stated strategic intent is to own nothing (as much as possible) and clear out the commodity infrastructure. This will then allow us to focus on the things that really matter, those systems and technologies that differentiate us as an agency."

WA Police deputy CIO and sworn officer Stuart Bartles will take over following Schuman's departure.

Schuman said the force had firmly committed to the strategic direction laid out by his team and understood what it would take to get there.

"I have loved my time with the agency and will chalk it up as the most personally satisfying period of my career to date," Schuman said.

"My deputy has said to me on many occasions that the unit he walked into 18 months ago bears no resemblance to the one we lead today. That comment always makes me smile."

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