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Operations

What IT leaders need to know about the management and effective running of the IT organization.

How Can a CIO Leverage Students for Innovation?

Globalisation is concentrating the minds of leaders of organisations on innovation. For most, there is a  need to improve or introduce products and processes more quickly in response to increased competition. Whether the desired innovation is disruptive or sustaining the challenge is usually to make it happen – to turn good ideas into improvements in organisational performance.

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More tales from customer service hell

If you are a CIO, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Bob Evans, SVP Communications for Oracle Corp. If you don’t know him, you may want to put him on your radar. He’s one of the best bloggers on CIO issues out there.

In a Forbes BrandVoice blog entitled “The Top 10 Strategic Issues for CIOs for 2014”, Evans says that the number one issue for CIOs in 2014 is driving customer-centric innovation throughout the business.

“In today’s global consumer-driven economy,” he asserts, “the only survivors will be those companies that are able to put the customer at the center of all their thinking and processes: product design, marketing, distribution, sales experience, user experience, post-sales support and service, and community engagement.”

If you’re looking for some low-hanging fruit in the customer-satisfaction department, allow me to make a couple of suggestions, based on recent personal experience…

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CIOs stand on shifting corporate sands

It’s growing increasingly apparent that the times they are a’changing for IT executives, perhaps more so now than ever in the history of enterprise IT.

That home truth came through loud and clear at The IT Media Group’s two recent CIO Master Series roundtables – one in Toronto and one in Calgary – both sponsored by IBM Canada. The events were held in early March, 2014.

In the Calgary session, where a 13-member roundtable delved into the issue of "Future-Proofing the IT Organization", several IT executives agreed that the business has already largely taken over traditional IT responsibilities such as project management, budget and delivery, sometimes cutting IT out of the process entirely.

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CIOs – Don’t Lose Sight of Your Web Site

Like most people these days, I visit more Web sites in the space of a week than I would care to count. When it comes to the sites of mid- to large-sized organizations, I find about one in ten is really impactful and well executed. About half I would describe as acceptable to pretty good, although most in this group are lacking in imagination and verve. The remaining 40 percent suffer from a variety of ills: poor navigation, missing content, cumbersome functionality, lackluster or just plain bad graphic design – the list goes on.

Is it the job of the CIO to ensure that the company has a compelling and well-functioning Web site? To the extent that the CIO has influence over the finished product, the answer is yes. In most organizations, the CMO will hold the reins to design and content. But when it comes to building or overhauling the site, having it function properly, and tying it into backend systems, the buck stops at the CIO’s office. 

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CIOs – more than just efficiency experts

A lot of CIOs struggle with the fact that they are pigeon-holed by their organizations as efficiency experts whose role is primarily one of improving processes. The notion of IT being a key driver of business growth in new areas simply doesn’t exist in many companies.

For CIOs trying to make the case for an expanded role for IT in driving business growth, some good news came recently in the form of a survey from Juniper Networks, which provides some tangible evidence that when IT is enlisted to drive corporate growth, the result is stronger business performance.

Conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the survey of 474 business and IT executives from Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. aimed at providing a better understanding of how the role of IT in business is changing to address the challenges and opportunities of exponential data growth and the fast-changing market needs for digital services.

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Confronting the IT Complexity Problem

You could forgive today’s CIOs for thinking they’ve fallen down some confounding IT rabbit hole. But rather than crying, “Curiouser and Curiouser!”, as Alice did, they’re more likely to exclaim, “Complexer and complexer!”

When I first began focusing my career as a journalist on the world of the IT executive back in the early 1990s, I remember thinking how dauntingly complex the IT environment was that they had to manage. But with more and more sophisticated enterprise IT solutions coming onto the market, I reasoned that things would get better over time. Ah, the naivety!

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5 survival tactics for CIOs

There’s a lot going on in the CIO’s world. Change is not a new phenomenon for CIOs, but it does seem that there are some fundamental shifts happening that are changing the relationship between information technology and its users, between information technology and the IT department, and changing the role and influence of IT within the business.

Driving these changes are both technology developments and business realities, including cloud computing and the accessibility of IT capabilities outside of the IT department; mobile computing and social media -- both contributing to the erosion of the dividing line between enterprise and public or personal information resources; and, the increasing pressure to lower costs while streamlining business processes and improving responsiveness.

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CIOs doing less with less

Let’s face it; the “doing more with less” mantra no longer works for IT. With cost cutting being one of the primary mandates of CIOs, something has to give. Most know that, but few have a productive solution.

I had lunch recently with a CIO who heads up global IT at one of the major banks. He mentioned that he has to find $25 millions in cost savings this year. He needs help in figuring out where that money is going to come from, while not disrupting the quality of services. Ha! We all want to have the best of both worlds; but can we?

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CIO roundtable: ‘Winning Tactics for Hard Times’

It was nice to be back in my comfort zone in November, helping host The IT Media Group’s first CIO Roundtable in Toronto. The theme ‘Winning Tactics for Hard Times’ provided plenty of issues for the nine participating CIOs and CTOs to explore. And the format – more lightly structured than the roundtables I’ve done in the past – proved to be an excellent one, giving participants ample rein to take the conversation deeper into areas of specific interest. Panelists gave a big thumbs up to the event, so the stage is set for us to do many more in the new year.

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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

Operations Archive