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Myles Ward of healthAlliance: The road to CEO

Myles Ward of healthAlliance: The road to CEO

Myles Ward reveals what today's CTO needs to become a CEO, the role of his mentors in his career development and the need for a supportive network of your peers at every stage.

Companies need to operate and react to change in different modes. The business imperatives and challenges around digitisation and online services are not slowing

Myles Ward, healthAlliance

The path from CTO to CEO is not that well trodden, at least outside technology companies.

Myles Ward made this transition in government - moving from Chief Technology Officer at Inland Revenue Department, to CEO at healthAlliance, New Zealand’s largest shared services provider.

healthAlliance provides non-clinical services to the Northern Region DHBs. These are around supporting information technology and the Clinical and Enterprise Solutions, staff services (payroll, accounts payable, eligibility payments, and HR administration), internal audit and finance, and service desks.

“Health is a very rewarding environment. The goals and outcomes that DHBs are striving for are ones that you can easily relate to and it was a key reason in joining this exciting industry. Health is also a very complex environment with many moving parts,” Ward says.

CIO NZ video interview: Myles Ward talks about the move from CTO to CEO

''In the case of healthAlliance, its customers are the Northern Region district health boards and as an agent of those DHBs we enable them deliver their healthcare outcomes and goals through the delivery of quality technology solutions and services.

“There is a very genuine reason why people are working in the sector,'' he says. People do genuinely care about people, health outcomes, and what it is being undertaken to improve care in general. It is amazing to be part of this and leading a company that is focused in helping make this a reality.”

Alongside providing this service he would like his team to be recognised as experts in the fields they represent, trusted advisors in the use of and implementation of enabling technology solutions, and in making the health dollar go further.

“If you look at the health sector, the Government in general, you have got to live within your means,” he states.

Thus, he says it is important to identify where we can make the savings and deliver wisely. “It is essential we do our bit to drive efficiency to reinvest and to drive down the cost to serve while ensuring we deliver quality outcomes.”

For Ward, this shift requires “making sure right at the start you have a clear strategy and a clear plan.

“To do this it is essential you bring your stakeholders, customers and your people close to you. It is about listening.”

As described in the recent Health Stategy and in the All of Government (AoG) ICT Statregy, information and data play an important part of moving forward and joining up government as to does digitising and mobilisation of DHBs. .

To this, healthAlliance sees the benefits of turning its operating model toward abimodal/multi-modal way of operating.

“This is very true, and very real for us,” he says, referring to the term developed by analyst firm Gartner. This means having different modes of delivering the enabling technology; waterfall and agile.

For Ward, this mindset goes beyond technology.

“Companies need to operate and react to change in different modes. The business imperatives and challenges around digitisation and online services are not slowing. DHBs are accelerating their thinking and approaches to take advantage of these incredibly powerful outcomes to deliver services more effectively, efficiently, and in real time to respond to better health outcomes. hA needs to react accordingly and traditional methods alone aren’t going to be enough.

Being able to flex your company to operate at different speeds is absolutely key.

“It is part of the culture we are looking to bring about at healthAlliance,” he says. “How to flex our company in the right way, to access the right resources but also to deliver quickly and safely.”

Next: Setting priorities

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