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Peter Hall

Peter Hall was an IBRS advisor between 2016 and 2020 who covered enterprise infrastructure, management, managing vendor and customer relationships, vendor capabilities and vendor offerings. Peter is experienced in Start-Up’s and Mergers and Acquisitions. Peter had over 37 years of experience working in the IT sector in ANZ and Asia Pacific, gaining invaluable insights into vendor offerings and strategies, relationship management, and channel strategies. Peter’s an experienced executive having worked for Hewlett-Packard, Blade Network Technologies (acquired by IBM in 2010), IBM and Lenovo. Peter is also an accredited Tony Buzan Licensed Instructor in Mind Mapping.

Conclusion: Organisations will typically have employees of different cultural backgrounds. As teams expand and organisations become more global, managers may find themselves managing whole teams based in countries other than their own. A lot of the time, management will by necessity have to be done remotely.

Managers need to be very aware that management cultural diversity needs to be considered, especially in areas such as communication, decision making, coaching, support and dealing with any issues or conflicts. Trust is a key element of successful manager/employee engagement and is critical when managing remote teams who may have significant management cultural differences.


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Conclusion: Pandemic planning is a strategic approach to business continuity that anticipates and prepares for a widespread outbreak of an infectious disease.

Business continuity planning can have an over-emphasis on short-term technology platforms failing, but as part of business continuity planning consideration needs to be given to the potential risk of an outbreak of a disease that could spread and may not be resolved quickly. The time of risk may go over several months or longer. Some forecasts for the coronavirus speculate it could take 12 to 18 months to come up with a vaccine.

The impact and planning needs to consider both internal and external factors; that is, how the pandemic event may impact employees and the organisation’s ability to keep its business operating. External factors will include the impact of the pandemic event on external service providers, suppliers and customers.


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Conclusion: Australian organisations must have strong disaster recovery plans, be it for natural disasters or man-made disasters. The plans need to deal with the protection and recovery of facilities, IT systems and equipment. It is also critical that the plan deals with the human side of the impact of a disaster on the workforce. What planning needs to be done, what testing will be done, what will happen during a disaster and what needs to be done after a disaster?

This planning can be complex and confronting. Whilst testing the failover of IT systems can be relatively straightforward, testing the effectiveness of the workforce side of a plan will be difficult, and may even disturb employees who may prefer to think “surely it will never happen to us”.


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Related Articles:

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"What are the important elements of a Disaster Recovery Plan?" IBRS, 2016-08-30 01:17:08

Conclusion: A foundation for virtually all IT vendors is to work to position themselves as a ‘leader’. This might be for a specific set of products, solutions or services.

IBRS client inquiries often include the question: “Which vendor is the leader for a specific solution?” This suggests that if a vendor may be perceived to be the leader then they may also be the best solution. Yet it is not unusual that several competing vendors all have statements or references that point to them being a leader.

Being a leader can mean many different things in terms of competing vendors, and can also be fluid as vendors are always working to improve their offerings and grow their businesses. Buyers need to understand exactly what is meant if a vendor is called a leader and recognise that this is only one factor to consider when deciding which solutions or vendors will best serve their specific needs and for their specific environment.


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Conclusion: Onboarding is a critical process when hiring new employees. Poor first impressions can impact the potential success of new employees, and potentially the productivity or benefits that an organisation may have been expecting when adding the new employees. Worst case is a new highly skilled employee decides quickly that the organisation is not a good fit for them, and they leave it to find a better one.

Software tools are available to assist with the onboarding experience and process.
These tools aim to assist in several ways including automation of administrative tasks such as getting HR documents out to new hires, providing e-learning tools, tracking new hire progress, ensuring governance, and managing workflows and checklists.

Tools can help improve the overall efficiency and potential effectiveness of the onboarding process, and importantly help develop a repeatable and consistent process that all hiring managers in an organisation can utilise. Onboarding is of course about welcoming a new employee into the organisation, helping them get up to speed quickly in terms of their new role and the organisation, and providing them with the support to be productive as quickly as possible. The importance of the ‘personal’ contribution to the process cannot be forgotten or replaced by software tools.


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Related Articles:

"Can IBRS assist in the downselection of a HRM solution?" IBRS, 2018-10-24 04:41:50

"Emerging HR tech solutions striving to improve hiring outcomes" IBRS, 2019-10-02 01:12:47

"Onboarding: First impressions count" IBRS, 2019-11-02 01:36:50

"Workforce transformation Part 1: Disrupting the very idea of paper is an important first step" IBRS, 2018-03-31 06:53:24

Conclusion: Hiring is costly, time-consuming and fraught with risk. Hiring decisions can impact organisations in either positive or negative ways. A critical step in the hiring process is onboarding. First impressions matter and new hires need to be made to feel welcome, engaged and enabled to ensure they can settle in quickly and are able to start contributing as quickly as possible.

Given that a critical issue in Australia is the availability of highly-sought-after IT skills1, it is particularly important that organisations can attract and retain the IT skills needed to support the business. Of course, successful onboarding is important in all aspects of an organisation.

Onboarding should be a clearly defined process with a checklist of exactly what should be done, and what should be repeated for every new hire. The process starts before the employee’s first day and extends to a period after the employee’s first day, possibly up to six or even 12 months.

Successful onboarding is not just HR’s responsibility but the responsibility of every hiring manager or supervisor, and their colleagues. And success will be judged by the employees in how well the process made them feel welcomed, helped them understand their role and engaged them, and contributed to their productivity. Lower turnover rates should also be a goal of improving onboarding.


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Related Articles:

"Emerging HR tech solutions striving to improve hiring outcomes" IBRS, 2019-10-02 01:12:47

"Tech companies tapping into high performing workforce candidates" IBRS, 2018-10-04 13:11:39

"Work for managers that hire you" IBRS, 2019-07-05 01:01:33

Conclusion: Successfully hiring new employees can bring lots of benefits to an organisation – improved productivity, employee morale or business outcomes, to name just a few. Equally, poor hiring decisions can be extremely costly to an organisation. Having to dismiss someone who was recently hired but proves to not be a good fit for the role can impact the organisation in many ways, and usually at a higher cost than the direct costs associated with the actual recruitment process.

HR tech is a rapidly growing field of software solutions that are designed to help improve the recruitment process, with the ultimate goal of helping organisations improve their hiring outcomes.

Organisations wishing to improve their hiring effectiveness or efficiency should consider the emerging new recruiting solutions and how they may help address any identified problem areas in their current recruitment efforts. But caution needs to be taken, especially for artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that may be built on historical data that results in bias, for example giving preference to particular genders.


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Conclusion: Email is one of the most pervasive IT applications spread throughout organisations of all sizes. It is hard to imagine any employee in any organisation not having an email account. It is critical that all organisations have a formal Email Policy that clearly spells out what every employee’s responsibilities are in terms of usage of their email accounts, as well as what is not allowed or inappropriate usage. Additionally, the use of social platforms (for example, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram) has given rise to the need for organisations to also have policies that incorporate acceptable and unacceptable usage of social platforms, especially in terms of representing the organisation.

It is also important to establish guidelines for the expected etiquette and best practices around email and social platform usage; for example, when not to use email when another form of communication would be more effective, such as a phone call or conducting a meeting.

It should not be assumed that all employees know what is expected of them in terms of usage of these platforms, or how best to manage the information they handle every day.


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Conclusion: The three largest service providers in Australia for mobile phone services, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, have all committed to providing 5G networks. 2019 has seen the introduction of 5G networks and devices; however, the coverage is still limited. Initial coverage by the service providers will focus on areas with the highest population density, providing coverage to a greater number of potential users. In 2019, it is estimated that coverage should be available to about 4 million potential subscribers.

The jump in speed and reduction in network latency will open up opportunities for new services and customer experiences that would not be practical using existing 3G or 4G networks. There is a large potential economic upside and organisations should be planning for future use cases.


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Conclusion: Relationships at work between managers and employees are important and can influence the success and effectiveness of individual teams or whole organisations. Both managers and employees need to understand the bias that can occur between a view a manager may take about an employee they have invested in and ‘hired’ or selected, versus an employee that is thrust upon them or that they inherit from another manager; for example, employees that join an organisation as the result of an acquisition.

When managers are ‘invested’ in the selection of employees, a relationship exists that reflects on the managers’ judgement and decision-making skills, having believed that they have made good hiring decisions. No such relationship exists when the managers have no involvement in the selection of the employees but are assigned to managing the employees.

The more that managers understand this, the better they can focus on avoiding viewing employees differently. The more that employees understand this, the better they can recognise potential issues, and work to improve their career prospects by ensuring they work for a manager that has ‘chosen’ them, or at least learnt to understand their abilities and contributions.


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In the News

Outdated work from home policies bog down Aussie businesses - Computer Reseller News - 6 April 2020

IBRS analyst Dr. Joseph Sweeney provides best practice-advice on working from home in the current pandemic situation. Dr. Joseph Sweeney discusses current working from home policies which are...
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Centrelink crashes under demand for crisis payments - Australian Financial Review - 23 march 2020

IBRS workforce transformation advisor Joseph Sweeney said many government departments had to navigate difficult IT environments that were only part-way through their digital transformations, with...
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Inside EY's security work at ANZ - Australian Financial Review - 3 March 2020

"There is more security work to go round than there are resources. So I don't think the market is that crowded. It's important to remember that security is not something you buy and then it's done;...
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Google cloud boss looks to AI as it fights Amazon, Microsoft duopoly - Australian Financial Review - 2 March 2020

IBRS analyst Joe Sweeney has been tracking the three major Cloud vendors capabilities in AI and said Google is right to believe it has an edge over AWS and Microsoft when it comes to corpus (the...
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What should be in Australia’s next cyber security strategy? - Computer Weekly - 10 Feb 2020

Peter Sandilands, an advisor at analyst firm IBRS, called the discussion paper “a pre-judged survey” that is mostly looking for answers. He also questioned if the resulting recommendations would be...
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