HomeSitemap This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leadership

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

The lottery plan for IT organizations

If I won the lottery, I would move my entire family to Disney World, permanently. My plan is simple: give away and sell all my worldly possessions, from my socks to my house, and recreate a new life in the happiest place on earth.

I would prepay for decades of a complete vacation package in a Magic Kingdom view resort room, with a connected room for the kids. For transportation, WDW would provide busses, boats, and monorails to any location, all included. For food, the included deluxe dining plan would offer me three meals and two snacks per day in hundreds of locations in the 40+ square mile district. I think the entertainment is obvious, however I would likely get the platinum package with park hopper and waterparks to maximize the number options in any one day. For clothing, well, onsite merchandising is unprecedented.

I look forward to the closed system, one that centers on my interests and happiness. Once I arrive, I will never need to leave. Friends and family are free to come and visit (as long as they get their own room).

The key to this plan is 1) having the courage to completely reinvent how I live my life; 2) appreciating that my attention needs to be moved from my possessions to my family’s happiness needs; and 3) redefining and repackaging what’s important to control (and randomly winning hundreds of millions of dollars... but I’m ignoring that little problem).

It would be great if I could stop my thought there and go buy some more lottery tickets, but this is about information technology so here is the parallel:

In today’s IT organizations, the focus is mostly on applications that serve business functions. We have teams that create and test software, teams that deploy and manage software, and teams that program manage and source software. OPEX budgets are being pressured to reduce, considering the vast majority of that expense is people. CAPEX budgets are being pressured as we continue to buy more and more infrastructure to manage more and more applications versions in development and in production.

The irony is that with the exception of companies that exist to sell software, the business applications are not actually an asset (especially considering most of the work on our applications is building incremental features and not keeping current with technology). IT budgets spend most of the rich disposable income on artifacts that are rarely read and applications that are outdated well before they are deployed into production.

But what is the organization’s key asset – the data that is created by those business applications – is hidden from view and treated like a side effect. Something that has to be “handled”. Is that right?

So what if we apply the lottery plan to our IT organizations? Let’s say you now have a choice as to where you want to spend your hard earned money.

  • Have the courage to choose a different focus for the entire organization. Reinvent the IT organization to be data-centric (your asset) versus application-centric (not your asset).

  • Appreciate that your personal attention needs to move from the triangular perspective of “managing people equivalents, creating complex processes, and application technology”, to being the Chief Information Officer (yeah, remember that title?).

  • Redefine what is important to control, surrounding your asset. Abstract away the business applications. Abstract away the infrastructure. Abstract away the manual effort to manage, version, and keep current. Internalize data science. Internalize data lifecycle. Internalize creating value by combining and evolving your asset in new and interesting ways. Let go of everything that is not your asset; that doesn’t have a potential value.

In tomorrow’s IT organization, the CIO buys commodity software and/or platforms to perform business functions that are managed by the package provider. The provider keeps the software current, patched, monitored and maintained, all within strict SLA requirements. This is the food and the clothing.

In tomorrow’s IT organization, the infrastructure is a fully automated cloud, secured compute publically consumed and secured storage privately consumed, and all fully managed by the component provider. The cloud provider keeps the hardware current, available and elastic, all within strict SLA requirements. This is the lodging and the transportation system.

In a perfect tomorrow, a single provider can create and manage both competencies for you, as they do for hundreds of other organizations. Hint, hint... Hitachi Converged and Unified Storage.

And most importantly, in tomorrow’s IT organization the CIO leads the Enterprise Information Management team – consisting of data architects, data scientists, and data analysts – that exist for the purpose of continually creating new value, and new revenue for the business the CIO serves. This is the happiness.

Enjoy your revolution.


Guest contributor, Paul Lewis, is the CTO with Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Canadian Region and is responsible for the region’s Solution Consulting practice. Prior to joining HDS, and for the past 20 years as the CTO and Senior Technologist of several financial services organizations from start-ups to large business services providers, Paul has focused on technology R&D and innovation, IT/business strategic plans and governance, security and risk management, software and infrastructure architecture.

This article was originally posted by the author on his corporate blog. See: Do not lean against the doors…Prohibido apoyarse contra las puertas.

 

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

Leadership Archive