Fairfax IS merger yet to pan out

Fairfax New Zealand information boss Pam Nobbs says it’s too early to tell how the integration of Fairfax’s New Zealand and Australian IT operations might pan out.

The Australian newspaper publisher recently completed its purchase of a string of former INL papers including The Dominion Post and The Press, to form Fairfax New Zealand.

Fairfax Australia chief executive Fred Hilmer has been reported as saying there is potential for integration and questioning the need for the two countries to have completely separate editorial systems and internet platforms and hostings.

Nobbs, who was CIO at INL for a little over a year before Fairfax bought into the publishing house, has been overseeing an IT consolidation process at the company.

She says consolidation of staff has been completed and the scoping and business case for consolidation of systems and hardware is done. “What we need to do now is align that with Fairfax, and I don’t think that’ll be too much of a problem.”

INL had been run on a paper-by-paper basis until Nobbs’ appointment and has a wide variety of hardware and software, Nobbs told Computerworld last year.

“You name it, we’ve got it — we’ve got Apple Macs, PCs, Windows, DOS, dumb terminals.”

INL appointed regional IS managers last year as part of the staff side of the restructure. It has several IS vacancies at the moment, including a systems support analyst position in Palmerston North.

Total IS headcount at the company is 75, “slightly less” than the number before the review was undertaken, Nobbs says.

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