The first panel discussion focused on ‘Digital transformation’ and was moderated by John Brand from Forrester Research with guests Samir Mahir from Vision Australia, Mark Schwartz from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Tim Richardson from ESSSuper.


The first panel discussion at the 2017 CIO Leaders Summit Australia focused on ‘Digital transformation’ and was moderated by John Brand, VP Advisor for Forrester Research who was joined by Samir Mahir from Vision Australia, Mark Schwartz from US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Tim Richardson from ESSSuper. This robust panel discussion attracted much interest from the audience of senior executives and covered issues related to: Developing an effective response strategy for your business exploring; fostering innovation, speed to market, flexibility, customer engagement and organisational effectiveness; Short term and long term response strategies: where’s the money. Do you focus on inside out or outside in and can you do both at once? How do you measure success and where is the biggest risk to achieving success? And overcoming reluctance and driving transformation: top down vs. collaborative change.


John Brand, VP Advisor, Forrester Research


Samir Mahir, Chief Digital & Information Officer, Vision Australia

Mark Schwartz, Chief Information Officer, US Citizenship and Immigration Services

Tim Richardson, Chief Transformation Officer, ESSSuper

John serves CIOs with research that focuses on the enterprise adoption of new software and Internet technologies. With more than 25 years of experience in IT, he is widely regarded as one of the top Internet and IT industry analysts in Asia Pacific. He is regularly invited to speak at industry events and is often quoted in the press around the globe. John has extensive industry knowledge in financial services and the media and entertainment industries, as well as a broad range of commercial and noncommercial industries. He has produced world-leading research in the areas of enterprise content management, business intelligence, data center transformation, the impact on security by social computing, and many other technology- and business-related topics.

Samir is Chief Digital & Information Officer at Vision Australia, a leading national provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia. Vision Australia is a not-for-profit organisation and a major participant and partner in the international blindness community. Prior to Vision Australia, Samir was CIO at Tennis Australia where he was responsible for establishing the organisation’s Information Technology strategy. He led the delivery of digital and analytics solutions including technology innovations for the Australian Open. Tennis Australia is the governing body of tennis within Australia, linking to eight states’ member associations. Before joining Tennis Australia in 2011, Samir spent 12 years at IBM with its Events team leading the management and delivery of the IBM Worldwide Sponsorship Events including Roland Garros (French Open), Wimbledon, the US Open and the Masters (Golf) Tournament. Before joining IBM, Samir was Director of Information Technology at the United States Tennis Association.

Mark is an experienced, award-winning CIO, a change agent who has led organizations in creating innovative solutions to some of the toughest business challenges around. I am known for formulating and articulating powerful visions and using them to drive change in complex, matrixed, and sometimes rigid and bureaucratic environments. The author of a book on The Art of Business Value, Mark knows how to put technology to work to create competitive advantage, increase revenue, accomplish mission, and generate value. Mark also has experience as a CEO, with MBA degree from Wharton and Computer Science degree from Yale. Mark has been an IT leader in organizations small and large, public, private, and nonprofit. As the CIO at US Citizenship and Immigration Services, I support the processing of about 7 million applications for benefits each year, including requests for citizenship, permanent resident status, employment authorization, refugee status and other humanitarian assistance.

Tim is Chief Transformation Officer for ESSSuper, and brings over 20+ years of experience in financial services. Drawing his experience from Australia and overseas, Tim has held senior positions in industry and across business and technology and has worked with many of the top tier financial services organisations. Tim is a strategic, outcome focused business and technology professional that can operate at Senior Levels across Operations and Technology to deliver change. His track record also demonstrates his ability to understand business challenges, emerging trends and external forces facing organisations, and deliver change and innovation to that effect. His experience at running large and complex initiatives across organisations from Board initiation to implementation will be leveraged in this role at ESSSuper. As the Chief Transformation Officer, he will oversee ESSSuper’s Technology division and Program Management Office whilst embarking on his transformational responsibilities. Tim has deep experience across Wealth, Capital Markets, Superannuation, Funds Management and Risk Management. He has proven experience at a diverse range of organisation including NAB Wealth, CLSA, Stock Exchange of Thailand, ANZ and NBN Co and Equity Trustee’s. Further to his experience, Tim’s qualifications also include a BSc (Applied Mathematics / Statistics), Grad Dip Business, and a Masters which specialised in Operations and Accounting.

3a. CIO John Brand 3b. CIO Samir Mahir 3c. CIO Mark Schwartz 3d. CIO Tim Richardson

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