Woolies' NZ supermarkets to elevate role of IT

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Woolies' NZ supermarkets to elevate role of IT

Calls time on six-year focus on support.

The Woolworths-owned Countdown supermarket chain in New Zealand will transform its IT team and elevate its status in the business from a long-term “support” role into lead agents for change.

A new program office and application delivery team is being established to drive the transition and build out capacity to “own change within Countdown”.

Countdown has over 180 supermarkets across New Zealand and employs about 18,000 people.

“For the last six years we have been primarily support focused, being structured to focus on transactional outcomes,” the company said.

“After a recent detailed business review the IT and business teams developed a vision of what IT needs to be in Countdown business.

“IT will be required to deliver great ideas and strong change leadership. We have built detailed plans to transform the team and are focussed on getting the right people into the right roles.”

It is unclear whether the business review process was the recent Woolworths strategic review, which among other things has led to an expansion of IT resourcing in individual business units, such as Big W.

A Woolworths spokesperson has been contacted for additional comment.

The new application delivery team will take over functions including development, testing and solution architecture.

“This is the engine room for taking new ideas, designing great applications, leading the adoption of the latest frameworks and technology and creating and making them tangible,” Countdown said.

A team is currently being built in the new program office – which is “responsible for critical projects and programs across the [Countdown] business” - consisting of at least five business, analyst, and change-oriented roles.

While there appears to be an emphasis on the office achieving "quick adoption of change”, it is counterbalanced with a requirement “to ensure that the impact of new or upgraded solutions are managed in an effective way, enabling [the] business to achieve [its] goals".

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