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

Important CIO conversations for 2014

As changes to enterprise IT tend to be more evolutionary than revolutionary, we don’t expect 2014 to be radically different than last year for CIOs. But there are some areas that we believe will garner more attention, and that CIOs should pay close attention to. Here’s our take on some important CIO conversations for 2014:

The security conversation. The data breach at Target, the U.S.’s third largest retailer, in late November/early December of 2013, resulting in the exposure of up to 40 million customer credit and debit card numbers, will be a wake-up call for C-suite executives across North America and around the world.To date, this is the most visible data breach we’ve seen, and its impact was immediate, resulting in a drop of three to four percent in the number of transactions at Target on the final weekend before Christmas, according to Bloomberg. As well, Target shares fell three percent in the weeks following the breach. And at time of writing, there was talk of a customer class-action suit being launched against Target as well.

While security is a top priority for many types of companies – notably financial services and retail firms – it’s not given the consideration it deserves in many others, which often compromise security for the sake of business expediency. That was certainly a much-discussed issue at The IT Media Group’s roundtable “Securing Information in an Unsecure World”, held in early December in Toronto.

The highly publicized Target breach will no doubt have sent a chill down many a CEO’s spine, no matter what their industry, and in our view, that will result in quite a few new conversations with CIOs around security. Many of those conversations will be initiated by the CEO, but there’s also an opportunity here for CIOs to take the initiative – to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. For CIOs looking for ways to get security back on the strategic agenda, now is your moment. Put it on your ‘to do’ list for early in the new year. Wait too long and it will be old news, and your moment will have passed.

The Big Data conversation. No one knows better than CIOs just how fast the Big Data wave is growing. CIOs also understand the complexities of storing and managing Big Data, and the impact it can have on the company’s ability to compete, to develop new products, and to respond quickly to customer needs. In short, the Big Data conversation will be an important one for CIOs to have with senior management in 2014, and in every year that follows for the foreseeable future.

The IT Media Group’s February 2013 roundtable on “The Economics of Big Data” identified several topics that could be a part of those conversations. They include: leveraging data from social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to enhance customer responsiveness and drive innovation; the exponential rise in storage requirements due to such factors as compliance, poorly defined retention policies, and the burgeoning growth in data quantity, sources and types; and the question of who controls the data – who is responsible for its integrity and for the delivery of business intelligence derived from that data?

Whether you’re the CIO of a large multi-national or a mid-sized regional firm, the Big Data conversation is one that needs to be taken seriously in 2014 and beyond.

The disaster conversation. The other big story to close out 2013 was the ice storm that clobbered the north-east. Hardest hit among Canadian cities was Toronto, where upwards of a million people were without power for days, even as the city plunged into a deep freeze. And just when people needed city services the most, the City of Toronto’s website went AWOL for almost a day and Toronto Hydro’s site became hard or impossible to access, resulting in howls of anger from affected residents. The optics around these website failures were simply awful, especially for Toronto Hydro, which many felt should have a bullet-proof site in the event of a major power outage.

Emergency preparedness and disaster recovery are areas that often get short shrift when it comes to corporate priorities. And while we don’t think that the ice storm is likely to change this, it does provide CIOs with an opportunity to reopen the conversation around these important topics with senior management. With a highly publicized disaster like the ice storm fresh in people’s minds, CIOs may have a little extra leverage to get their companies better prepared.

The ‘changing role of the CIO’ conversation. While the above conversations will all take place between the CIO and senior management, there’s another important conversation for 2014 that should take place between CIOs themselves: how the role of CIO is changing and what should CIOs be doing to ensure that they remain relevant in the future. This is not a new conversation. It’s been going on at least as far back as 2003, when Nicholas Carr published his notorious Harvard Business Review article “IT Doesn’t Matter”. And the good news is that in today’s digital economy, CIOs don’t appear to be any closer to extinction now than they did then, despite the many pronouncements that they are on the endangered species list. In 2003, client-server technology challenged the traditional role of the CIO as the sole arbiter of enterprise technology. Today it’s cloud services that challenge the enterprise IT organization, tempting users to do an end run around corporate IT to get what they want without having to wait for it. What smart CIOs have figured out is that they need to keep reinventing themselves as time and technology march along. And to do that, they need to keep the conversation going around how their job is changing and what they need to do to remain vital to the organization. In 2014 that will mean important CIO conversations around cloud, around working with the CMO, around maximizing IT’s ability to create business value for the organization, and around a host of other topics. This year, The IT Media Group will be enabling some of those very important conversations, starting with our March 4 CIO roundtable in Calgary on “Future proofing the IT Organization” and our March 5 roundtable in Toronto on “Putting business-value creation on steroids” – great ways to continue the discussion on the changing role of the CIO.

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

Avison Young - VP Global Enterprise Architecture & Integration

Aviva Canada - VP, Architecture & Strategy

Bank of America Merrill Lynch - CTO

BC Ferry Services - VP & CIO

Bell Business Markets - Director, Strategy & Planning

Bell Canada - National Director, Digital Transformation

Bellatrix Exploration - Director, Information Technology

Bentall Kennedy - VP IT


BFL CANADA - Director, Cybersecurity & IT Risk Management

Black Press - CTO

BlackBerry - VP Corporate IT

BMO Financial Group - Director, Technology & Operations Transformation

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 Goose - CTO

Canada Live - VP of Technology

Canada Mortgage and Housing - VP, Information & Technology

Canada Protection Plan - Head of IT

Canadian Depository for Securities - CIO

Canadian Direct Insurance - CTO

Canadian Payments Association - VP & CIO

Canucks Sports - Head of IT

Capgemini - Service Delivery Director


Cardel Homes - VP MIS

Cargojet - CIO

CBI Health Group - CIO

CCS Corp. - VP IT

CDSPI - Board Director

Centerra Gold - Director IT & Comm

CI Global Asset Management - VP of Enterprise Infrastructure $amp; Operations

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 Richmond Hill - CIO

City of Toronto - Director of Strategic Planning & Architecture

CN Rail Service - Chief Information Security Officer

Coast Capital Savings - VP Technology

Colliers - Head of Technology & Data

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

Deloitte - Director, Risk Advisory

Dentons - Canada CIO

Devon Energy - Director, Integrated Business Services

Direct Cash - VP IT & Security

Dynamic Tire Corp - CIO

D+H Partnership - VP, Head of Canadian Mortgage Technology

eHealth - EVP, Technology

eHealth Ontario - VP, IT Systems & Services

Encana - Director, InfoSec

Enbridge Inc. - VP, Technology and Information Services

Enerflex - CIO

Enerplus - VP. IS


Equitable Bank - CIO

Equitable Bank - CISO

Equity Financial Trust - VP, IT

Essential Energy Services - Director, IT

Expedia Cruise Ship Centers - VP IS

FGL Sports - VP, Information Technology

Finastra - SVP, Head Technology Managed Services

Fix Auto Canada - COO & SVP - CIO

Freedom Mobile - Head, Customer Applications, Experience, & Strategy

FT Services - CIO

FundServ - CIO

Genus Capital Management - CTO

Genworth Financial Inc. - VP IT

Geotab - Board Member

Golder Associates - CTO

Gran Tierra Energy - Director IT

Grant Thornton LLP - CIO

Grand River Hospital - Director, Data Governance & Analytics

Greenwin Inc - VP, Information Technology

Groupe Dynamite - Director, IT

GSK Canada - IT Director

GTAA - Acting CIO

H&R Block Canada - VP IT

Haventree Bank - VP, Technology

Hewitt Equipment Ltd. - VP & CIO

Hitachi Vantara - GVP & Global CTO

Home Trust Company - CIO

Home Trust Company - CTO

Home Trust Company - VP & CISO

Horizon North Logistics - CIO

HSB Canada - VP IT

IBM Canada - Associate Partner, Payments Industry

Indigo Books and Music - CIO

Interac Corp - Director, Platform Engineering

ivari - SVP & CIO

JP Morgan Chase Canada - Executive Director, Information Risk Management

Keyera Energy - Director, Information Technology

KFC Canada - CTO

KnowledgeOne - CIO

LaFarge Canada - Director, IT

Landmark Cinemas Canada - VP, IT


LCBO - Director, Applications Systems


Leisureworld Senior Care Corp - VP IS

Lifeguard Digital Health - Chief Security & Informatics Officer

Loblaw Companies Ltd - Senior Director, Customer Engagement Technology

London Drugs - GM IT

Loto-Quebec - Corporate Director, InfoSec

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

Manulife - Global Head of Private Markets & Real Estate Technology

March Networks - VP Professional Services & CIO

MaRS Discovery District - Managing Director, Fintech and Commerce

McCain Foods Limited - Manager InfoSec

McInnis Cement - Director of Information Technology

Medical Pharmacies Group - VP, Information Technology

MEG Energy - Manager, Information Technology Solutions & Services

Metrolinx - EVP & CIO

Minto Group - VP IT

MMM Group - CIO

Montreal Police Service - CIO

Morguard Investments - CIO

Moulding & Millwork - CIO

MullenLowe Group - Global 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

OPTrust - AVP, Enterprise Data Services

Olympia Financial Group - CIO

OMERS - EVP, Data & Technology


OMERS - SVP, Data & Advanced Analytics

Ontario Pension Board - CTO

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan - SVP, Product & Delivery

Ontario Trillium Foundation - CIO

Osum Oil Sands Corp - Manager, IS

Ottawa Police Service - CIO

Pacific Western Transportation - CIO

Packers Plus - Global IT Director

Pason Systems - Manager, Digital Communications & Corporate IT

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

Pythian - CTO

Qantas - Global CIO

Queen's University - Director, Information Technology

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

RBC Royal Bank - VP, Technology Platforms & Risk Management

RBC Royal Bank - Global Cybersecurity VP

Regal Lifestyle Communities - CIO

Revera Inc. - CIO

Revera Inc. - Security Architect

Rheem Manufacturing - CISO & Enterprise Architect

Ricoh Canada - VP,IT

RioCan Property Services - VP IT

Roche - Head of IT Americas – Operations

Rogers Communications - SVP, Customer Experience IT


Russel Metals - VP,IS

Salvation Army Canada - Board Director

SCI Group - CIO

Scotiabank - Head, Systems Architecture & Platform Modernization

Scotiabank - VP - International Systems Technology

Scotiabank - Head, System Architecture & Platform Modernization

Scotiabank - Global Head, GBM Compliance & Transformation

Sears Canada - Divisional VP, Information Technology Services

Secure Energy Services - GM, IT

Shaw - Head, Customer Applications, Experience, & Strategy

Shaw Communications - VP, Technology Operations

Shaw Communications - Director, Risk Management

SMART Technologies - Director, IS Corporate Services

Smartcentres - Director IS, IT

SmartOne Solutions - President & CIO

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

Sunco Communication - COO

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 - CISO & Global Head of Infrastructure Services

Toromont Industries - VP & CIO

Toronto District School Board - Chief Technology Officer

Toronto Hospital for Sick Children - Director of Technology

Toronto Parking Authority - CIO

Toronto Police Services - CISO

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 Toronto - Director, Centre for Management & Technology

University of Waterloo - Director, Technology Entrepreneurship

Valencia Risk - Managing Director

Vancity - VP Technology & Solutions

Viterra - Director Enterprise Technology

Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company - Director of Innovation Outpost

World Health - Director IT

Wolseley Canada - CIO & COO

WSIB - Board Director

Yellow Pages Group - Director - Enterprise Data Management

York Region District School Board - CIO

York University - Board Director

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