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Alan Hansell

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Alan Hansell is an IBRS advisor who focuses on IT and business management. Alan is able to critique and comment on IT and business management trends, ways to justify and maximise the benefits from IT-related investment, IS management development and the role of the CIO. Alan has extensive experience in IT management, consulting and advising senior managers in matters related to IT investment. He was a Director in Gartner's Executive program and adviser to over 50 CIOs and business managers and before joining Gartner a consultant with DMR Group. He also worked as an IS professional, manager and industry consultant for IBM for nearly 30 years. Alan is a CPA and Associate of Governance Institute of Australia.

Conclusion: The program to upskill IT professionals and managers must be intentional and the results measurable. Unless the program is actively supported by participating line managers and affected staff, it may not meet the vision set in the IT strategic or business operational plan. The IT upskilling program’s initiatives should be presented by the CIO, to the executive or its talent management committee so the results can be applied elsewhere in the organisation.


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Related Articles:

"Demystifying IT workforce planning" IBRS, 2017-11-02 03:50:29

"Future-proofing your ICT team: Predictions and mitigation" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:12:40

"Helping technical team leaders succeed" IBRS, 2018-02-01 10:09:58

"Recruiting today for tomorrow’s workforce" IBRS, 2018-01-03 05:52:33

Conclusion: Unless the process of allocating IT and business resources to competing projects is transparent, and follows agreed procedures, disaffected management could develop shadow IT solutions and create additional technical debt. To ensure the allocation process is equitable, develop pragmatic guidelines so sponsors need only provide information needed for an informed assessment of their proposals.

To minimise the risk of project failure, it is imperative the right projects are allocated resources and those at risk are rejected or reworked. When developing the guidelines, ensure the information requested is succinct, apt for the size of the project, and the risks are clear and can be contained. The objective must be to ensure the process is as transparent as possible, uncomplicated and not protracted.


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Conclusion: In a world where organisations increasingly rely on the successful performance of their business systems it is important IT management takes the lead in managing the risk of systems failure and cyber security breaches from all sources.

Boards are ultimately responsible for monitoring risks. They direct IT (and business) management to create a framework and strategy to manage systems, including data, and cyber security risks. The framework must include policies, supported by processes and practices to ensure business systems operate successfully and the data stored is not compromised.


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IBRS iQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our Advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.
 

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Conclusion: When multiple application software vendors claim they have the solution to an organisation’s requirements, challenge them to prove it by demonstrating their product’s differentiators and ability to process use cases.

To make the right buying decision, clients must insist the demonstration stretch the software’s functionality and the vendor’s grasp of its nuances. If this is not done, the likelihood of a wrong buying decision looms.

Vendors that do not know their software’s capabilities intimately, or are ill prepared to demonstrate them, should be rated accordingly and, unless there are mitigating circumstances, omitted from the final round in the procurement process. Vendors that are comfortable in demonstrating the software’s functionality and its ability to meet an organisation’s requirements should be seriously considered for inclusion in the final round of the procurement exercise.


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Conclusion: Consolidating information systems after a MoG change or a company acquisition is not only risky but also likely to be expensive. The problem is compounded when the benefits expected from the merger are out of reach or, in the case of a company acquisition, the buyer has paid too much, and the stakeholders are demanding accountability.

To maximise the probability of a successful merger from a business systems perspective, do not take claims made of the ICT systems’ integrity at face value. Verify them and develop plans to integrate the systems where feasible, while minimising risks and retaining skilled IT and business professionals.


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Conclusion: One of the least understood contributors in implementing IT projects successfully is the leadership provided by competent TTLs (Technical Team Leads). Their ability to steer projects in the right direction, maximise the contribution of team members and cement the relationship with sponsors, is pivotal.

IT professionals, with potential to act as TTLs, must manage their careers by seizing leadership training and mentoring opportunities so they have a head-start when assigned to a TTL role.


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Conclusion: Business and IT professionals struggle with how to frame their message so it engages the reader and has immediate impact. To get the reader’s attention, it is important to pose a business problem, or an unacceptable situation that is pre-occupying the reader, and provide a solution on the same page.


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In the News

PageUp starts rebuilding and looks to learn lessons after data breach nightmare - AFR - 27 June 2018

The timing couldn't have been worse for PageUp; two days before Europe's new data protection regime came into force the Melbourne-based online recruitment specialist's security systems detected...
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Australia is still in the cyber security dark ages - AFR - 28 June 2018

In terms of cyber security years, Australia is still in the dark ages, a period typified by a lack of records, and diminished understanding and learning. We're only a few months into practising...
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AMP does maths on infosec shortage - ITnews - 18th June 2018

Cyber security and risk advisor at analyst firm IBRS, James Turner, said the cyber skills shortage was prompting a wider rethink around the domain in terms of resourcing for the last few years....
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How Australia must use the PageUp data breach to become stronger - AFR - 18th June 2018

PageUp People, a successful Australian Software-as-a-Service vendor, has been the victim of a crime , with a data breach that could be extremely damaging for its prospects . There are two lessons...
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The three cyber security challenges Australian businesses can't ignore - AFR - 6 May 2018

Australian businesses currently face a cyber security triple threat that has nothing to do with warding off hackers. Rather there are three new regulatory forces impacting specific points of the...
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