Australian Customs Service chief information officer Murray Harrison today said he would leave the agency next Wednesday, ending his six-year tenure.
"I've turned 55 and I've got an opportunity to retire," he told ZDNet.com.au. "The next journey is a long one and I think it's a reasonable point to hand on to somebody else."
His attention has been focused for the last 12 months on moving from a single-sourced outsourcing arrangement with EDS, to multi-sourcing its services, with IBM winning the king's portion of the contract, Verizon and Telstra taking their own pieces, and EDS and Kaz sharing the application management and support segment. Desktop and service desk went back in-house.
Harrison said now that the multi-sourcing arrangement was set up, it was time for the new CIO to focus back on what the business is trying to achieve and help it towards those goals.
He thought, therefore, that his replacement would have to be talented both in the business and IT segments. The agency would likely appoint an interim CIO until a new one could be found, he said.
Since Harrison entered his role in 2002 as the agency's first CIO, he named his four major projects as:
- Optimising an at first troubled relationship with EDS
- Implementing the Integrated Cargo System
- Being one of the first to implement a major roll out of Vista
- Working through the transition from single-sourcing to multi-sourcing.
When asked if he had any regrets, he mentioned the bumpy ride as the Customs department implemented the Integrated Cargo System, which after it was put in caused backlogs of cargo at ports, resulting in Customs paying compensation claims to those affected.
Harrison said, however, that despite the problems, the project would be his favourite because it was the most interesting, and in the long term it had provided a sturdy system. Although, he also said the Vista roll-out generated a fair bit of praise. "I've had more compliments about that than I've ever had as a CIO," he said.