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Leadership

Strategies, advice and opinions helping to define and develop the role of IT leaders and their staffs.

CIO Career Advice: Underutilized IT Execs, Get Your Knowledge Working For You

In my recent blog, "CIO Careers: When you’re gone, make sure you’re not forgotten", I wrote about the various ways unemployed CIOs can keep from getting stale-dated and enhance their chances of finding a new and perhaps even better job.

The second blog in my “CIO Career Advice” series speaks not only to unemployed IT execs but also to those with some extra time on their hands (okay, I know they are rarae aves, but they’re out there). Those in either category can enhance their profile, better brand themselves by creating more visibility for their skills, knowledge and ambitions, and perhaps earn some good money in the process by packaging up their specialized knowledge and putting it into the marketplace. Here are a few ways to do this.

CONSULTING. Consulting gigs are sometimes an option, and they can pay well. Such gigs can be in association with an established consulting firm or they can be done by hanging up your own shingle. Either way, you’ll need to start by taking an inventory of your own personal knowledge and skill sets, and these can be myriad, depending on the type of business you’ve been in. IT executives in the retail sector, for example, may have marketable special knowledge in things like inventory management, social media strategies, or deploying in-store product security systems. Those in manufacturing may have valuable experience with things like Just-In-Time or Lean manufacturing. More generally speaking, experience in things like ERP implementation, outsourcing management, delivery of complex IT projects or implementation of countless vendor product offerings can be invaluable to the right companies. When you start toting up your knowledge and skills, you’ll find you have an impressive list of credentials.

PRESENTING. If consulting isn’t your thing, consider putting together one or more presentations that can be marketed to business leaders in need of IT advice, fellow IT executives, or to vendors. Senior management at many companies are struggling with their current IT organization or in transition between CIOs (Perhaps because of a simple language disconnect). These executives may be eager to get a fresh and knowledgeable take on their situation, and to obtain knowledge and advice from a disinterested third party. Similarly, internal IT management grappling with problems you have dealt successfully with may relish the opportunity to tap into your hands-on knowledge. And IT vendors may value your insight into the information and product needs of CIOs in specific sectors, and how to do a better job of selling to them without wasting their time.

If I may briefly plug The IT Media Group, our service offerings include presentations such as those described above and we have the ability to market these presentations to a variety of clients under The IT Media Group banner on a profit-sharing basis with our presenters. If you’d like to explore this option, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BECOMING A HIRED GUN. If presentations aren’t your thing either, there are plenty of other options. For unemployed CIOs, you can always market yourself as an IT gun for hire, providing CIO services on a temporary contact basis. This is a fairly common practice and sometimes has the potential of turning into a full-time gig.

GIVING BACK. Many CIOs find mentoring to be a fulfilling pursuit, and those that do it can take pride in the fact that they are nurturing the next generation of CIOs and giving back to the profession and Canadian business in general. Helping start-ups get their IT house in order is another way of giving back. And teaching courses at colleges and universities can be quite rewarding and result in valuable additions to your personal network.

In short, if you want to put your knowledge and skills to work, there are a great many ways to do so. You just have to get out there and do it.

Look for the next blog in my "CIO Career Advice" series, which provides tips for happily employed CIOs who have bigger career aspirations , such as wanting to move on to a COO or CEO role.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter & LinkedIn:  & .

 

 

Past Attendees


ADP - VP Architecture & Infrastructure

AESO - VP, Information Technology

Agnico Eagle Mines - VP, IT

Agrium - Global Mgr., IT Security

Agrium - Senior Director IT Shared Services

Aimia - SVP & Global CIO

Ainsworth Engineered - Director IT

Air Canada Vacations - Director IT

Alberta Energy Regulator - Director, Office of the CIO

Anthem Properties - VP IS

AON Risk Solutions Canada - Head of IT

Aviva Canada - VP, Architecture & Strategy

Bank of America Merrill Lynch - CTO

BC Ferry Services - VP & CIO

Bellatrix Exploration - Director, Information Technology

Bentall Kennedy - VP IT

Black Press - CTO

BlackBerry - VP Corporate IT

BMO Financial Group - Head of Services Delivery

Bombardier Aerospace - CISO

Bonavista Petroleum - Head of IT

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP - Global CIO

Bow Valley College - Director, IT Services

Bridgewater Bank - Head of IT

BuildDirect - VP IT

Bulk Barn - Head, IT

Burnco - CIO

Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec - VP, IT Planning, Architecture, Governance, Operations

Calfrac Well Services - Head of IT

Canada Mortgage and Housing - VP, Information & Technology

Canadian Depository for Securities - CIO

Canadian Direct Insurance - CTO

Canadian Payments Association - VP & CIO

Canucks Sports - Head of IT

CAPREIT - CIO

Cardel Homes - VP MIS

Cargojet - CIO

CCS Corp. - VP IT

Centerra Gold - Director IT & Comm

CIBC - Senior Director, Infrastructure Planning & Engineering

CIBC - SVP & CIO, Retail and Business Banking Technology

CIBC Mellon - AVP, Enterprise Architecture

CIBC Mellon - SVP & CIO

Cineplex Entertainment - CTO

City of Brampton - Senior Manager, IT Architecture & Planning

City of Toronto - Director of Strategic Planning & Architecture

CN Rail Service - Chief Information Security Officer

Coast Capital Savings - VP Technology

Concordia University - AVP & CIO

Crescent Point Energy - Head of IT

Dairy Farmers of Ontario - Head of IT and Administration

Dale Parizeau Morris Mackenzie - VP, IT

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP - Director, Information Technology

DealerTrack Canada - Director, Technology

Defence Construction Canada - Corporate Manager, IT

Dentons - Canada CIO

Devon Energy - Director, Integrated Business Services

Direct Cash - VP IT & Security

Dynamic Tire Corp - CIO

eHealth Ontario - VP, IT Systems & Services

Encana - Director, InfoSec

Enerflex - CIO

Enerplus - VP. IS

ENMAX - VP, IT & PMO

Essential Energy Services - Director, IT

Expedia Cruise Ship Centers - VP IS

FGL Sports - VP, Information Technology

Fix Auto Canada - COO & SVP

Flightnetwork.com - CIO

FT Services - CIO

FundServ - CIO

Genus Capital Management - CTO

Genworth Financial Inc. - VP IT

Golder Associates - CTO

Gran Tierra Energy - Director IT

Grant Thornton LLP - CIO

Greenwin Inc - VP, Information Technology

Groupe Dynamite - Director, IT

GSK Canada - IT Director

GTAA - Acting CIO

H&R Block Canada - VP IT

Hewitt Equipment Ltd. - VP & CIO

Hitachi - CTO, Americas

Home Trust Company - CIO

Home Trust Company - CTO

Home Trust Company - VP & CISO

Horizon North Logistics - CIO

Indigo Books and Music - CIO

ivari - SVP & CIO

JP Morgan Chase Canada - Executive Director, Information Risk Management

Keyera Energy - Director, Information Technology

KnowledgeOne - CIO

LaFarge Canada - Director, IT

Landmark Cinemas Canada - VP, IT

LCBO - Director, Applications Systems

LCBO - SVP & CIO

Leisureworld Senior Care Corp - VP IS

Lightstream Resources - Head, Information Services

London Drugs - GM IT

Loto-Quebec - Corporate Director, InfoSec

Magna International Inc - VP & Global Leader, IT (CIO)

March Networks - VP Professional Services & CIO

McCain Foods Limited - Manager InfoSec

McInnis Cement - Director of Information Technology

Medical Pharmacies Group - VP, Information Technology

MEG Energy - Manager, Information Technology Solutions & Services

MMM Group - CIO

Montreal Police Service - CIO

Morguard Investments - CIO

Moulding & Millwork - CIO

National Bank of Canada - Information Security Officer

National Capital Commission - Chief, IT infrastructure & Support Services

NHL Players' Association - Head, Security & Technology

Northbridge Financial Corp - CIO

OEC Group Canada - Vice President, Information Technology and Client solutions

Oildex - VP, Architecture & Infrastructure

Olympia Financial Group - CIO

OMERS - SVP IT

Ontario Pension Board - CTO

Ontario Trillium Foundation - CIO

Ottawa Police Service - CIO

Pacific Western Transportation - CIO

Packers Plus - Global IT Director

Patient News - CTO

Peel District School Board - CIO

Pengrowth Corp - Director IS

Penn West Exploration - Snr. Manager, IT Operations

Peterson Investment Group - Head of IT

PFB Corp. - CIO

Pizza Pizza - CIO & VP, IT

Precision Drilling - VP, IT

Precision Drilling - Director, IT Infrastructure & Security

PSP Investments - Snr. Director, Internal Audit & Business Infosec

Public Works and Government Services Canada - Director, IT Security Directorate

PwC - Managing Director, Real Estate Technology Advisory

Qantas - Global CIO

Queen's University - Director, Information Technology

RBC Royal Bank - Head of Application Security, Data Protection & Security Consulting

Regal Lifestyle Communities - CIO

Revera Inc. - CIO

Revera Inc. - Security Architect

Ricoh Canada - VP,IT

RioCan Property Services - VP IT

Rogers Communications - SVP, Customer Experience IT

ROM - CIO

Russel Metals - VP,IS

Scotiabank - VP - International Systems Technology

Scotiabank - Director, Architecture & Engineering

Sears Canada - Divisional VP, Information Technology Services

Secure Energy Services - GM, IT

Shaw Communications - VP, Technology Operations

Shaw Communications - Director, Risk Management

SMART Technologies - Director, IS Corporate Services

Smartcentres - Director IS, IT

Societe de Transport de Montreal - Division Head - Security and Compliance

Street Capital Financial - CIO

Sun Life Financial - AVP, Data & Business Intelligence Services

Sun Life Financial - VP Application Ops & Services

Suncor Energy Inc. - Director, Application Portfolio Optimization, I&PM, Business Services

Symcor - CTO, VP Technology Services

Talisman Energy - SVP IT & Business Services

TD Bank - Enterprise Architect

Teknion - SVP, CIO

TELUS - Chief Security Architect

Tervita Corporation - VP, Information Technology

The Hudsons Bay Company - VP Technology

The Hudson's Bay Company - SVP & CIO

The Source - VP, Information Technology

TMX Group - VP, CISO

Toromont Industries - VP & CIO

Toronto District School Board - Chief Technology Officer

Toronto Hospital for Sick Children - Director of Technology

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) - Chief Enterprise Architect

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) - CIO

Toyota Canada - National Manager, IS

Transamerica Life Canada - CIO

Trican Well Services Ltd. - Director, Business Information Systems

Tridel Corporation - CIO

Trillium Health Partners - IT Director, Applications & Clinical Informatics

UFA Cooperative - VP & CIO

University of Calgary - Executive Director, Development Services

University of Ottawa - CIO

University of Ottawa - Senior Director IT Services & Infrastructure

University of Waterloo - Director, Technology Entrepreneurship

Vancity - VP Technology & Solutions

Viterra - Director Enterprise Technology

World Health - Director IT

Wolseley Canada - CIO & COO

Yellow Pages Group - Director - Enterprise Data Management

York Region District School Board - CIO

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