Governing Body Spotlight

Co-Chair of the Melbourne CIO Community

Frank De Sa

Chief Information Officer

Just Group

Frank De Sa is the Chief Information Officer for Just Group, where he is responsible for technology strategy and operations across 7 brands in 6 countries, including over 1,100 retail stores and online sites, fulfilling orders in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Frank is passionate about instilling a 'can do' culture in IT and, together with an exceptional team, works as a trusted advisor within Just Group, ensuring they get the most out of each technology investment.

Learn more about the Melbourne CIO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I always had an interest in technology and engineering. However, after starting an Engineering degree, I soon discovered it was not for me. I took 6 months off from university and went back the following year to start a Bachelor of Computing (Information Systems). 

I was fortunate enough to join Ferntree Computer Corporation as a graduate in their Systems Engineering team in Melbourne. This is where my real learning commenced – networks, PC and server configuration and technical support. I took a liking to application development and moved to the business consulting division of Arthur Andersen.

Soon after, I joined Lotus Consulting, entering the world of global messaging implementations and application development on this 'new' thing called Groupware! Subsequently, I co-founded a boutique consulting firm and spent a lot of time working for various clients including Toyota Australia, Victorian Government, Just Group and The Good Guys. I left this partnership after almost 10 years and after a brief stint with AdventOne, joined Just Group in 2010.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Be kind and be grateful – this is my life-guiding principle. I always try to empower my team and give them a safe space so they can maximise their learning and development. It is important to remember that we are all human and regardless of skill levels, if we approach things with the right attitude, we will be successful.

With disruption being a key theme of recent years, where do you see the CIO role going in the next 1-2 years?

It feels like disruption has been a key theme throughout my career – yes, things appear to be moving faster but constant change has been present since my graduate days. My hope is that more internal IT departments take more time to understand the business they are in, rather than focusing on every new technology that is marketed to them.

I see my role as getting even closer to the core processes that drive our retail business so that my team and I can ensure we are applying appropriate technology where required and that technology does not get in the way between our customers and our products.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out as a CIO?

There are plenty of resources to enable you to learn more about new technologies – use them! There are many things you can read about the business you are in, but there is no substitute for immersing yourself in the daily processes of your business so that you fully understand where technology can add value. The goal is for you as a CIO to understand your business, not for the business to understand technology.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.

  1. I was born in Kampala, Uganda and came to Australia when I was 3 years old. 

  2. I have a passion for keeping fit and (hopefully) strong! I train 6 days per week.

  3. I will be getting right out of my comfort zone in November this year when I trek to the Everest base camp with my eldest son and a few gym buddies.

What is the value of joining an Evanta community? 

I believe the community of technology professionals that Evanta has gathered is second to none. The events are always topical and the discussions with peers in either the same or different industry sectors are very valuable – I always learn something. Also critically important is that I am never 'sold to' at any event – vendors may be present, but they are learning just like the rest of us in the room.


Evanta Governing Body members share their insights and leadership perspectives to shape the agendas and topics that address the top priorities impacting business leaders today.

by CIOs, for CIOs

Join the conversation with peers in your local CIO community.