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New & Notable

The latest news about The IT Media Group. What's happening in our world: new clients, new relationships and new initiatives.

CIO Roundtables Explore The Internet of Things

A number of Canada's top IT executives will be meeting in Toronto and Vancouver this September to discuss how the Internet of Things (IoT) is fundamentally changing our world to one in which physical objects are becoming digital objects and "everything" is connected.

These events are a part of The IT Media Group's CIO Master Series Roundtables, one of the most successful programs for IT executives in Canada, bringing together scores of CIOs from across the country to engage in thoughtful private discussions around the top issues facing enterprise IT.

The sponsor for both roundtables is Salesforce.

The Toronto session is slated for September 22, 2016 and the Vancouver session is scheduled for September 29.  Both sessions will run from 8:00 to 10:30am and will include a full breakfast. Interested IT and security executives can enquire using the ITMG registration link or by contacting ITMG directly. CIO Master Series Roundtables are no-charge for qualified attendees.

In these roundtables we’ll discuss how the IoT is shaping the future of business and enterprise IT, and we’ll explore the requirements of an infrastructure to enable and support Internet of Things applications.


IT Execs Tame the Elements at Inaugural Hitachi Golf Classic

The winds howled and the storm clouds threatened but at the end of the day it was the golfers that prevailed at the first annual Hitachi Golf Classic, held last week at the spectacular Coppinwood Golf Club in Claremont, Ontario, designed by renowned course architect Tom Fazio.

Teeing it up were 112 IT executives, including hosts from Hitachi Data Systems Canada, Hitachi Ltd. Canada, Hitachi Consulting, Pentaho, OXya and representatives from several firms in Hitachi’s robust partner ecosystem, and a large number of clients and prospects from a wide variety of industries (e.g. financial services, communications, retail and manufacturing) and the public sector. Avnet, Benchmark, Brocade, ESI, HighVail, Intel, OnX and ThinkOn sponsored activities such as the BBQ lunch and halfway house. The event was organized by Apexx Global. 

In keeping with its standing as one of the Best Workplaces in Canada, Hitachi successfully orchestrated the work of a large supporting cast to ensure that the event went off without a hitch.


Toronto CIOs Explore Talent Issues

With aging legacy systems that need maintaining, disruptive technologies that require new skill sets, and a young workforce that values personal satisfaction over long-term security, the challenges have never been greater when it comes to keeping IT departments adequately stocked with skilled employees. To help meet these challenges, The IT Media Group hosted another of its highly popular CIO Master Series roundtables on April 28, 2016 in Toronto, this one entitled “Winning the IT Talent Wars”.

More than a dozen Toronto-area IT executives from a wide range of private- and public-sector organizations participated in the invitation-only session. John Pickett, IT Media Group VP Executive Programs, moderated the discussion, while Chris Makkreel, Head of Solution Engineering, represented event sponsor Salesforce.

The conversation covered such topics as finding and developing people with a blend of technical and soft skills, understanding employees and giving them feedback, the impact of managers on employees, the importance of training and mentoring, creating a culture in which it is okay to fail, the pros and cons of telecommuting, clarity and consistency in messaging, and the use of contract versus full-time employees.


The care and feeding of millennials was a topic that got an especially thorough airing. While lamenting the fact that it’s hard to keep millennials around – they don’t mind changing jobs – most roundtable participants agreed that they can be a great boon to the organization. They’re fearless and when you unleash them they can do some wonderful things. But they will resist if you try to mold them; you need to find ways to capitalize on their strengths.


Calgary CIOs Share Downturn Coping Strategies

Nowhere has Canada’s lagging economic performance had more of an impact on IT than in the oil patch, where the huge decline in oil prices has led to the slashing of technology budgets. On April 7, 2016, The IT Media Group travelled to Calgary to host the CIO Master Series roundtable “CIO Priorities to Survive and Thrive in Lean Times”, which explored the strategies Alberta IT leaders are taking to minimize the effects of this substantial cost-cutting.

Thirteen IT executives, most of them from the oil and gas sector, had a seat at the table for the highly interactive session. John Pickett, IT Media Group VP Executive Programs, moderated the discussion, while Chris Makkreel, Head of Solution Engineering, represented event sponsor Salesforce.

Participants discussed a variety of ways they are dealing with lean times, including improving the quality of information management, and using Business Intelligence, especially as it relates to SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), to identify areas where the business can save money without the need for significant investment.

Other strategies included: decommissioning high-priced applications in favour of moderately priced solutions that will do the basic job, albeit with less functionality; implementing better long-term IT investment strategies through improved governance; cutting back on solutions that require expensive support personnel; and moving away from the cyclical boom-bust IT investment approach that has long been the norm in the oil and gas business.

Whereas oil patch IT organizations have been fairly resistant to general downturns in the Canadian economy, it was evident that this oil-related downturn has hit them hard, the result being rigorous rationalization of IT resources and the abandonment of many millions of dollars worth of IT investments – money that will not be recovered.

The roundtable members agreed, however, that this is but a temporary setback, and that boom times will inevitably return, bringing with them extremely healthy budgets for IT. The challenge, though, will be to learn from this painful and costly episode and to figure out ways to ensure more sustainable and evenly budgeted IT investment in the future. 


April Roundtables Focus on Lean Times & Talent Wars

Toronto – March 2, 2016 – The IT Media Group is pleased to announce two new Masters Series CIO Roundtables beginning in April: “CIO Priorities to Survive and Thrive in Lean Times” and “Winning the IT Talent Wars”. We wish to thank Salesforce for their sponsorship of both events.

The current speed and velocity of change has created an unprecedented challenge to CIOs tasked with maintaining a strategy that best serves the needs of the business. For the CIOs in Alberta, there’s another dimension to that challenge as the economic crisis forces executives to rethink their operational goals, business models, strategies and to a certain degree, their careers.

On April 7th, Calgary area CIOs will share strategies for coping with the present economic realities. They will explore tactics and innovative ideas to direct their focus not only towards addressing short-term challenges, but also towards developing a sustainable growth strategy.  

Amidst the current economic downtown, maintaining the right mix of IT skills is a struggle made more challenging by the increasing pace of business and technology change. The role of IT needs to evolve along with these changes.

On April 28th, Toronto area CIOs will explore how IT skill requirements are evolving and the challenges CIOs face in maintaining an effective work force. Participants will share ideas and successful practices for the recruitment, training and retention of IT staff.  They will discuss how workplace culture and practices are impacted as digital-savvy millennials make up a growing percentage of the workforce.

“These topics are extremely relevant and compelling to our CIO community”, said Nasheen Liu, Partner & VP, Strategy at The IT Media Group. “We look forward to strategizing winning tactics with some of the brightest minds across key industries”. 

Interested IT and security executives can use this link to access the VIP registration form.


Paul Lewis, CTO of Hitachi Canada Joining The IT Media Group’s Advisory Board

Toronto -- January 25, 2016 – We are pleased to announce the latest addition to our Advisory Board, Paul Lewis, Chief Technology Officer of Hitachi Canada. As the country CTO, Paul is responsible for Technology, Architecture, Advisory and Economic practices. Additionally, Paul leads technology advocacy of the Hitachi vision and strategy, heads field enablement of Analytics for the Americas, evangelizes complex technology trends including Cloud, Mobility and Analytics across the Americas; and represents Americas in the Global Technology Office, the Hitachi LTD R&D division.

Prior to joining Hitachi, and for the past 20 years as a client, Paul has focused on technology R&D and innovation, IT/business strategic plans and governance, security and risk management, software and infrastructure architecture as the CTO and Senior Executive Technologist of several financial services organizations from start-ups to large business services providers.

Paul is a frequent speaker at technology and industry events as well as various higher educational institutions across the country on topics ranging from IT leadership to Big Data/Internet of Things. In his role of trusted advisor to the CIO community, Paul’s explicit goal is to ensure clients’ problems are solved and opportunities realized. 

“When I think about leveraging technology to fuel innovation and make a true impact on society, Hitachi is one of the few ‘biggies’ that came to mind”, said Nasheen Liu, Partner and Vice President of Strategy at the IT Media Group. “We are thrilled to have Paul join us as an advisor providing strategic guidance on issues and topics that concern the CIO and the technology vendor communities”.

“The IT Media Group has been an instrumental partner for us enabling Hitachi to connect with the technology executive community in Canada and benefit from their valuable insights. I’m looking forward to contributing my knowledge and ideas to help further the collaboration between technology and business communities”, said Lewis. 


Toronto CIOs & CISOs Brainstorming Data & Application Security

On March 30, 2016, selected CIOs and CISOs from the GTA area will share concerns, ideas and successes around various aspects of data and application security at the IT Media Group's private roundtable - “Securing Data & Applications in a Digital Enterprise”. 

Attempts to obtain unauthorized access to corporate data and applications are growing at an alarming rate. Threats can originate from both outside and inside the organization.

At the same time, customers, regulators, and stakeholders expect that personally identifiable information (PII) is safe and secure. This is made more difficult as IT integrates their systems with outside suppliers and employees access these systems remotely using their own devices.

This roundtable will cover topics such as security through the lens of your customers, critical data management issues, protecting data sovereignty in the Cloud, best practices for securing applications, and what to expect from your security technology providers.   

Sponsor for the event is Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).  Interested IT and security executives can use this link to access our brief VIP registration form.


Montreal IT Execs Will Explore Cloud Security

On December 10, 2015, CIOs and CISOs from the Montreal area will exchange knowledge and insights around various aspects of Cloud security at a private roundtable produced by leading Canadian IT executive event firm, The IT Media Group.

“Securing Information in the Cloud” looks at the challenges CIOs and security professionals are facing with Cloud, and delves into strategies for ensuring the integrity, accessibility, security and manageability of data in a hybrid environment. Sponsor for the event is Salesforce.

The discussion will include an examination of the risks of Cloud computing and will drill down into issues such as privacy and regulatory compliance, user authentication, data classification and governance, and business continuity and data recovery.

Interested IT and security executives can use this link to access our brief VIP registration form.


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