QR National’s ‘technology transformation’
QR National’s new chief information officer, former Optus tech chief Lawrie Turner, joins the organisation next month to head up the company’s major technology transformation program.
By Jennifer Perry
A spokesperson for QR National told Rail Express that Turner will focus on positioning QR National’s technology strategy for the future, creating information delivery systems to support the company’s new operating model and addressing financial information requirements for QR National as a listed company.
“QR National, when it evolves into a publicly listed company, will have continuous disclosure obligations and this requires a change in our information management strategy,” the spokesperson said.
“In this context it is vital that accurate information flows across the business. Information must be timely, accurate and available to those who have legitimate rights to consume it.
“To achieve this, QR National must address each of the components in line with our technology transformation program of reducing systems, system complexity and integrating business processes.
Dealing with ‘application bloat’
QR National, since it split from QR, needs to consolidate hundreds of “legacy applications”.
Over the long history of QR, a very large number of specialist applications have been deployed resulting in “application bloat”.
“This application bloat causes difficulty in consolidating information due to the complex integration requirements. It also allows for a large number of ‘duplicate’ systems that support similar (if not identical) functions,” the spokesperson explained.
“As a final part of the ‘application bloat’ problem, QR National is often supporting multiple versions of systems. The consolidation will focus on rationalising the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) environment to provide single sources of truth for information from systems, removing duplicate systems and standardising on the versions of solutions.
“This one-off rationalisation will then be followed by a new enterprise portfolio lifecycle management process to continuously assess the value of ICT in QR National.”
The SAP rollout
The strategic direction for ICT in QR National is SAP and Microsoft solutions.
A significant part of QR National’s ICT reform will be in delivering accurate and timely information to support its key operating metrics.
“In delivering this outcome, we will seek to rationalise systems, better integrate our operational systems with the Enterprise platform, and increase the use of SAP to create end-to-end business processes with authoritative information sources,” the spokesperson said.
SAP is already used extensively throughout QR National including SAP ERP Financials, SAP ERP Human Capital Management, SAP supply Chain Management and SAP Supplier Relationship Management.
Recent applications include the deployment of SAP Business Objects and setting up QR National for the increased reporting and disclosure obligations.
“An extensive roadmap of prioritised solutions using SAP has been created to further leverage the investment in the ERP and to streamline business processes. While SAP is the main enterprise solution, there are still a number of other specialty applications supporting other functions such as our online presence, train operations and management,” the spokesperson said.
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