BlueScope IT budget on yo-yo diet

BlueScope Steel Australia chief information officer (CIO) Andrew Baker today revealed the company's IT budget was on a yo-yo diet of between $5 and $50 million per year.

BlueScope Steel Australia chief information officer (CIO) Andrew Baker today revealed the company's IT budget was on a yo-yo diet of between $5 and $50 million per year.

He revealed the figure at the Mastering SAP Technologies conference in Sydney this morning.

"Our investment profile changes from year to year and it depends [on] what projects we have on the go," Baker said. "We'd be investing in the tens of millions of dollars every year."

"In good years [the IT budget] might be $50 million across the entire organisation. In bad years it might be — we've had some very bad years in the last year or so — it's much, much lower than that. I don't know the exact number, but it'd be about $5 [million] or $10 [million] maybe on ... things we have to do."

It scaled up and down and was project driven, he said.

As for the number of IT people employed within the organisation, Baker said the outsourcing deal BlueScope secured with IT services company CSC in January 2007 had enabled it to have a "very low level" of IT staff "in terms of comparisons with other companies".

"Our people numbers are quite low because of our heavy outsourcing in the IT space," he said.

Baker also announced the company would be moving towards deploying a web-based enterprise resource planning product via SAP's Web Dynpro, a framework used for developing user interfaces.

The company's less frequent users would migrate to the web environment "sooner" whilst "power users" would continue to access the ERP product via its traditional interface, Baker said. "Implementation for the simple stuff has actually started now and we're ready to implement it now in terms of portal implementation," Baker said.

"The more sophisticated Web Dynpro will probably be a year away or so before I see something hard on the ground."

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