Design thinking is the latest buzzword in business innovation but what can it really do for you? Most business leaders find it easy to identify their most pressing problem: the data usually points you straight there. The challenge lies in understanding why it is a problem. More likely than not, the cause isn’t what you think it is. As a human-centred process, design thinking lets you get inside the head of your customers and learn about how they interact with your organisation and what they really need or want. Only then can you come up with solutions that actually solve the problem and improve performance and outcomes.
As Optimation celebrates 25 years in business, it has been incredibly rewarding for me to reflect back on my own experience founding the company and seeing it flourish and grow. Since we opened our doors in a tiny office on The Terrace back in 1992, the IT industry and the wider economy have seen plenty of ups and downs. Winston Peters was in the news back then, having recently been sacked by Jim Bolger. I guess some things change, others not so much! But for a tech business 25 years is an ice-age, so we are pretty proud to be here today.
Optimation was part of a strong turnout for a recent NZTech event on Developing Diversity. Over 100 people attended the panel discussion, where Colin Philip of Integration Works, Sue McLean of Transpower, Jeff Brandt of Deloitte and Emma Barrett of Intergen talked about empowering women at work. They shared personal experiences on the importance of inclusive language, the culture inside, unconscious bias, the diversity awakening, the bubble of privilege, and how we can advocate for change in our organisations.
What is top of mind for New Zealand’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs)? At a recent ISACA event I attended in Auckland, three CIOs talked about some of their key areas of focus, including IT strategy execution, cloud strategy and cloud migration, and cyber security. The CIOs were Gerben Otter of Fonterra, Shane Ohlin of Paymark, and Wilson Alley of Delegat Ltd.
What does it mean to be a Business Analyst (BA) and how does business analysis add value to projects and business initiatives? Although business analysis has been around for some time, it still seems to be considered by some to be rather loosely defined. While the majority of people agree on the importance of the BA role within an organisation, few truly grasp what it is a BA actually does. Perhaps this is because when a BA is good at their job, the benefits they bring are often masked. Nobody sees the time, effort and cost that has been avoided.
DevOps is fast emerging as a better way to deliver quality software to customer expectations, on time and on budget, through processes of continuous deployment. Building on the success of SCRUM, Lean, and similar Agile approaches to software design and development, it brings agile philosophies to the realm of operations and infrastructure. DevOps and continuous deployment are a radical transformation from traditional ideas about how to manage operations and production environments. This requires a step change in cultural values, and it means that any successful DevOps initiative has to consider the impact on people and the way they work, as well processes, tools, and technologies.
It's a big decision to leave behind friends and family to immigrate to a new country, whether it's just for a few years or with a view to settling permanently. New Zealand's IT industry welcomes many new migrants every year from all over the world. Our own Dhruti Desai, Resourcing Coordinator at Presto Resourcing Options (an Optimation Group company), is one of those who made the jump. She came to New Zealand from India via Singapore three years ago and here, she shares her experience and passes on some tips on getting settled to new migrants...
Rear Admiral Adam Grunsell from the Royal Australian Navy was one of the keynote speakers at AMPEAK, the Asset Management Council's annual conference held this week in Adelaide, Australia. In this interview on the conference website, he discussed how the principles of good asset management are applied in a complex, large-scale context like defense. He also talked about the Interdependent Mission Management System (IMMS), developed with the help of Optimation’s Enterprise Awareness and Information Management consulting capabilities and using the ThoughtWeb platform.
I was especially privileged to attend TEDxWellington, recently, a great event that I believe really achieved the mantra of spreading great ideas. From learning about Te Reo emersion, to the amazing healing effects of honey, to a real, yes a real, solution to the housing crisis and a guy who made what I assume is now funky type of music on old equipment. I was and I am inspired.