Embracing Strategies to Enable Continued Development

Elizabeth Harper, CIO, GHD
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Elizabeth Harper, CIO, GHD

The provision of IT services to engineering, architecture and environmental consulting disciplines poses unique challenges in comparison to other industries. Successfully addressing these differences entails supporting technical professionals across different disciplines, enhancing service delivery and meeting security challenges. Seamless delivery of IT services has become even more critical as organizations adapt to changing market conditions.

With 30 years’ experience in the IT industry, I have been exposed to a broad spectrum of technology environments. When I joined GHD as the CIO, I knew the core role of the Information Services (IS) team would not be about transactions and billing. Managing IS for a network of engineers, architects and environmental scientists, is extremely complex and vastly different to transactional-type organizations. This is due in part to the company’s professionals producing technical and visual representations of various systems and processes, such as 3D modeling, mapping and comprehensive flood modeling.

Supporting technical disciplines

At GHD, the IS team supports a suite of professionals from multiple disciplines working across five global markets. We have 75 different technical disciplines each with its own unique requirements, all relying on essentially the same technology. Whilst some of the services and solutions are transferrable, many are disciplined and market-specific. This means GHD’s IS team has to adapt its services to meet the challenges of this diversity, and support seamless collaboration across almost 100 offices around the globe, relying on software applications not necessarily designed to be used in that way.

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