This month we speak with Jodie Rugless, Manager Information Services at the City of Charles Sturt.
Jodie speaks about the massive changes occuring in IT Services, the emergence of new technologies - and how wearing two completely different shoes (from different pairs) can be a bad idea!
Hi Jodie - thanks for speaking with us.
What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
I work as the Information Services Manager at the City of Charles Sturt where I have full strategic and operational oversight of all IT services.
There are 31 people in my team and I have a total annual budget of $7.9m.
Where were you before and what attracted you to your current role?
I was previously the Chief Information Officer at RDNS SA. Most of my working career has been in the community/not for profit sector as I am passionate about the IT profession.
I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing my efforts translate to community value and/or benefit. I am lucky in my current role at Charles Sturt as it provides me the opportunity to continue my community focused work while working in an organisation that is known for its innovation, use of technology, and commitment to the community.
What is the most satisfying thing about working in Local Government?
Local Government has the greatest opportunity of all government tiers to directly impact the community on a daily basis.
Every day the work that I do translates to community benefit in a way that I can see and feel. It’s incredibly rewarding.
Speaking about your current role – the way people interact with technology is changing rapidly. How do you see technology shaping the way councils deal with their residents and provide services in the next 5-10 years?
Technology will increasingly impact us at Charles Sturt and the services we provide. Every day there are new technologies released or enabled that have the opportunity to completely reengineer the services we provide.
If we look at the world 10 years ago, Facebook didn’t exist and the whole concept of social media was quite foreign. Now, social media platforms are mainstream mechanisms of delivering information to our community. With this rapid shift in mind, it’s clear to see that it is almost impossible to predict how technology will shape our services.
As a technologist, ensuring that processes exist to understand and embrace technologies as they emerge in a way that maximises the value for the organisation and the community is vital.
From a council perspective - what are the driving forces of technology change – and how do you see them evolving?
I think there are five main forces impacting technology change: Cloud, Mobility, Big Data, Social and the Internet of Things. Every one of these forces will impact our services at Charles Sturt.
While cloud has been a topic of conversation for years, it is only now that it is becoming a true workable alternative as an internal infrastructure replacement. Mobility is everywhere and everyone.
Employees and customers alike are already expecting to access services via mobile devices.
Big Data will see improved decision making and earlier identification of potential issues and opportunities allowing for increased service efficiency and effectiveness.
Social media will continue to shape the ways in which we interact with our staff and our community.
By bringing all of these changes and new ways of thinking together we will eventually operate in an environment where any data is accessible on all things we manage at all times via any device in any location. The opportunities are endless!
Personally - what’s the longer term plan – where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I love my job and am passionate about what I do.
I am lucky that my job satisfaction is really high, and I look forward to continuing to work at Charles Sturt into the future.
What’s your most embarrassing Local Government moment?
So many to choose from! In about my 3rd week at Charles Sturt, I had a full day of meetings, mostly get to know meetings with other managers and my team members.
About 2 hours into the day, I noticed that I was wearing two different shoes. Both were dark in colour but they were different styles with different heel heights. I managed to sneak through the day keeping my feet below desks and meeting tables as much as possible and as a result very few people noticed. However, one staff member who I had gotten to know well, later made an announcement regarding my footwear to the whole team.
My shoes are regularly commented on now, not for how they look but for the fact that they are a matching pair!
How do you spend your leisure time outside of Local Government?
I spend time with my family including my two beautiful children.
My husband and I have just purchased a ski boat so I suspect most of my leisure time from now on will be on the river skiing with the kids – I cannot wait!