DEbra Bayne – Founder and CEO
Debra Bayne leads change that builds stronger, more effective organisations.
Searching for better ways of conducting business, internally and externally, is a healthy pursuit. Debra embraced the opportunities presented in the 1990s to explore the potential of the new tools for the new millenium: computer based technologies. Prior to establishing Debraneys, Debra worked as a private consultant to the Australian federal and state governments, advising them on how they could achieve their business goals, using the newly available computer based technologies.
Since founding Debraneys in 1995, the conception and design of Debraneys IT products and services have remained a principal focus for Debra. Her leadership inspired a responsive, enthusiastic team of people who worked together in Australia and South East Asia. They have helped bring to market Debraneys’ products and services, which have been used globally.
Setting up the company’s operations in Sydney, Australia, before the internet had taken off, Debra could see massive changes on the horizon.
Debraneys Asia was established in Singapore in 1997, based on securing a contact through winning an Innovation and Development Scheme Grant from the Singapore government. At the media launch of the 3 world first products for the incentive travel industry, Debra was acknowledged as guiding the project towards even higher goals than they had themselves aspired to reach. Utilised globally, these computer based products changed work practices and how services could be delivered in the travel industry. They massively expanded the potential customer base, reduced costs, and reduced the time spent on a myriad of jobs. It was rewarding to see the improvements as the fulfillment of innovation.
Underpinning all of the products and services that Debra has produced for Debraneys are methodologies and technologies that support people, and make a meaningful contribution to businesses.This ethos is a critical foundation of the company.
There is a time when there is a pervading sense in business that “things” need to change. “Things” are an amorphous entity that cannot be precisely described; they lack definition and form. In our world today, a world of continual social and economic upheaval, it is imperative to define and understand the “things” that it is worthwhile to change.
Leadership requires a vision of a clear and strong direction, a vision of how to enact not only different, but better, work practices and products. To criticise is easy. To put better in place requires courage and persistence, and a determination to implement real working solutions.
Leadership requires experience and discernment. Debra has always been acutely mindful of the reality that change has an impact on people, that it takes time to get used to things being done in a new way. Designing and delivering well designed computer based tools, Debra has consistently found that they have an enormous capacity to support change for the better. However, every step along the road of change needs to involve the people who will be impacted by the changes.
GLOBAL FOCUS & RECOGNITION
Debra’s focus for the company has always been global. Debra has been a participant in Australian government trade delegations to the UK, UAE, India, and Japan, as well as undertaking marketing trips to the US and Canada.
Debraneys’ new enabling technology for the international maritime sector led to Debra being invited to chair the “Maritime Security Asia 2006” conference in Singapore, entitled ”Life after the ISPS code” (International Ship and Port Facility Security Code). The conference explored the reality of the impact of this critical worldwide compliance regime. The international maritime legislation called the ISPS code was introduced after the September 11 bombings in the US in 2001. Its purpose was to require more stringent safeguards to be applied to the global maritime industry. This was a prime example of the load that the security and compliance requirements placed on each of the business stakeholders, government and private, across this complex industry sector. It impacted the volume and kinds of information that they were increasingly required to store, share and track.
International interest in this technology also resulted in Debra being part of the inaugural NSW Business Women’s Trade Mission to the UAE, at the end of 2007.
Australia hosted the APEC summit in 2007. Debra was invited to speak at the APEC Women’s Forum in Northern Queensland. The topic of the forum of the 21 member countries was “Building a Sustainable e-Future.”
After nearly a decade and a half of dividing the work of Debraneys between its Sydney and Singapore bases, Debra made a strategic decision to focus the work of the company in Australia. This was in order to ready the business for its long term commitment to the requirements of the R&D project that it intended to undertake. This decision was taken in the knowledge that the project had the capacity for a significant impact on the global business environment.
Membership for Debraneys maritime product suite was awarded in the Australian Technology Showcase (ATS). Debraneys remains an alumni member of this important venue for showcasing Australia’s innovative technologies to the rest of the world. Across this period Debra secured an important state government contract for Debraneys systems.
Transformational change has been Debra’s intention as the outcome of all of the work undertaken by Debraneys. This includes the capacity to simplify complex and convoluted working environments.
The lessons of the first decade of computers’ incorporation into the business environment had been many. They continued to grow across the next decade. The requirements of managing, and sharing, increasing amounts and types of information were escalating at a rapid rate. Overseeing consulting projects for both the private and public sectors clearly illustrated this trend. All businesses were being impacted by computer based technologies as a growing layer of multi-faceted complexity, and an increasing load of compliance and security requirements were being added to the business environment.
Compelled to ensure that these important lessons were not wasted, Debra undertook the work to spear-head the long term R&D project in Australia, to address many of the growing problems being encountered with regard to Information Management throughout the world.
One thing that Debra found to be repeatedly proven across the life of the company is that enacting innovative change brings more positive results than can, initially, be anticipated. This outcome always surprises. The R&D project was designed to find ways to address long standing problems for businesses with regard to Information Management.
As the R&D project continued, Debra saw that the capacity also existed to tackle on-going structural problems that affect businesses – namely the need to reduce some of the pressure on the resources of cities, and the ability to expand and strengthen the economic foundation of smaller, regional centres. Until recent times the attendant technologies could not have supported these much needed outcomes. And now is the time for change.
Today is no less exciting, nor challenging a time for Debra and Debraneys. In reframing the business for the decade ahead, the goal has been to take the lessons, embrace the extraordinary capabilities of our time, and use all of them well. This can be found in the suite of products called the Master Instrument.