Defence raids Tax for first CTO

Defence raids Tax for first CTO

Summary: Department of Defence CIO Greg Farr has nabbed a senior official and former colleague from the Australian Taxation Office to help fill out his new team.

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Department of Defence CIO Greg Farr has nabbed a senior official and former colleague from the Australian Taxation Office to help fill out his new team.

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Defence's new CTO
Matt Yannopoulous

(Credit: Department of Defence)

As Defence's first chief technology officer, Matt Yannopoulos will focus on developing the department's enterprise architecture, information and communications technology standards, strategy and investments.

"This will mean the creation and documentation of an accepted architecture future and working with the various areas of Defence to guide alignment and realisation of that agreed future," he said.

The new CTO has worked on federal government systems since 1990, and joined Defence in November. Yannopoulos' focus at the ATO since 2004 centred on business process design in support of its $724 million "Change Agenda".

Yannopoulos had worked closely with current Defence chief information officer Greg Farr who, as the ATO's second commissioner, had after 2005 devoted himself solely to steering the Change Agenda.

The CTO now sits within Defence's CIO Group and reports directly to Farr. In March last year, shortly after Farr's move to Defence, he flagged his intention to hire a CTO to address Defence's lack of a comprehensive technology road map.

"There hasn't been a road map so that when people working in the ICT space can look back at it as a reference to ensure that we stay aligned," Farr said at the time.

The absence of an overarching framework meant some departments had developed their own standards, resulting in a fragmentation of Defence's IT systems, said Farr. It was also one of 13 recommendations regarding Defence's handling of IT in the Defence Management Review released in 2007, which in part had led to the hiring of Farr.

Yannopoulos is set to play a critical role in Defence's CIO Group in the coming year as the agency gears up to commence a massive reform agenda.

Farr recently told ZDNet.com.au that following several major reviews into Defence's technology — the Gershon review, the Mortimer Review and the Rudd Government's Defence Whitepaper due in April this year — 2009 would likely see the commencement of its ICT reform agenda.

"All those [reviews] have come together in the last year," Farr said. "And they will come together into what I think will be a fairly major reform agenda for Defence ICT next year."

Farr said that both he and Yannopoulos thrived on the complexity of managing Defence's IT systems.

Topics: CXO, Government, Government AU

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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