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Is the role of CIO gaining in importance in WA?
It is an increasingly important role within BankWest.
More than 85 per cent of our customer transactions now take place through ATMs, EFTPOS and other online channels such as Internet and telephone banking. The IT department continually maintains and enhances the computer and information technology that runs behind these services.
Has the number of staff in your company devoted to IT changed in the past five years? If so, please estimate the change in numbers.
Generally the number of people devoted to IT has declined 10 to 15 per cent over the past five years. In 2000, BankWest formed a partnership with IT services supplier Unisys to form Unisys West. Unisys West now operates all of BankWest’s IT and data centre assets, and provides comprehensive IT infrastructure services for the Western Australian market.
What are some of the challenges you face as a CIO in WA?
My challenge is to build on our successes and grow our IT businesses for the benefit of customers, shareholders and staff alike. There is an increased emphasis on compliance through FSRA and Basel2. While all banks must meet these new hurdles regional banks must meet the same high certification as major banks in order to remain competitive. HBOS is our largest shareholder and a major UK banking organisation. BankWest supplies and supports the corporate and client banking solution provided to HBOS. This continues to be a significant and successful undertaking. The main advantage of being a CIO in WA is actually being in WA. Perth’s climate and lifestyle are unbeatable. It is a great place to live and work.
What is your opinion of WA’s ICT market and future outlook?
Our local market is relatively small with the majority of outsourcing in WA coming from the State Government. Over recent years the majority of these contracts have been with CSC. With the Government’s Spirit initiative there is a greater opportunity for a number of players to participate in these contracts. This should result in more players able to service a growing economy. There are also moves for some of the larger non-government IT operations to begin sharing infrastructure which again will encourage investment in local outsource capability. Future outlook really needs to head north or east where niche business can be acquired based on partnerships, specialised skills and our lower labour and operating costs.
What are the top six issues on your agenda?
In 2003, my focus will be on the following:
p Domestic regulatory programs such as FSRA and Code of Banking Practice.
p International codes with local regulatory implications such as Basel2.
p Cost reduction.
p Improving value received for investments made over the past few years.
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