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

Key Conversations for IT Executives

2014 was a great year for The IT Media Group – our best ever – and that means it was also a banner year for Canadian IT executives when it came to sharing best practices, expanding personal networks and gaining insights from world-class experts in their field.

A wealth of content came out of our many events across Canada, much of which is available on the ITMG web site in written form in our Events section and video form in our Video section. I highly recommend spending some time in both of these sections, where you will find peer-generated content on a wide variety of topics including: Cloud, Big Data, innovation, security, mobility, governance, BYOD, social media, working with the business, and the list goes on.

As we close the year, allow me to point you to a few conversations from our 2014 events that particularly resonated with us and with the IT executives who attended these sessions. They should give you plenty of food for thought for the coming year.

Business taking lead on projects

We visited Calgary in March for a roundtable entitled, “Future-Proofing the IT Organization”. One topic of particular interest at that event was around the business undertaking projects that once would have been the exclusive purview of the IT organization. Several IT executives at the table acknowledged the fact that the business now sometimes takes the lead role in IT implementations – and these executives were quite comfortable with the fact that this was happening. Frankly, this conversation took us a little by surprise. For a brief highlight of that discussion, see the session summary and videos.

Saying ‘yes’ to the business

At our Toronto roundtable, “Putting Business-Value Creation on Steroids”, there was much discussion around the need for IT to be responsive to the needs of the business. Some CIOs at the table said that their IT shops have been seen as laggards and impediments, causing the business to turn to outside vendors. As a means of combating this trend, participants agreed that IT needs to be seen as an enabler. In order to do this, the IT organization needs to figure out ways of “saying yes to the business”, while still fulfilling its IT management mandate. See the summary, and videos of some of the conversation addressing that issue.

Giving Users Access to the Cloud

It was apparent at our May roundtable in Toronto on “Securing Information in a Mobile World” that CIOs and CISOs are wrestling with a variety of issues around mobile security. Among the most prominent issues is the use of Cloud services such as Dropbox to store corporate data. While these types of services can provide great convenience for users, they can be a big concern for those responsible for securing sensitive corporate information. In keeping with the idea of not being an impediment to the business, the session highlights suggest a potential solution to the problem.

Building a More Security-aware Culture

In June, The IT Media Group made a return visit to Calgary to continue the conversation around security, this time for a session entitled “Securing Information in an Unsecure World”. Topics at that event included acquiring sufficient funding for security, the need for a cultural shift in IT, and building the security team. Cultural awareness with respect to security throughout the business was an important part of the conversation, and in this highlight page , Athabasca Oil Corp.’s Dan Chervenka talks about his tricks of the trade for getting the business and users more involved.

Need for economic transparency

Our “Innovation in the Cloud” roundtable in August covered not only innovation but also many Cloud-related topics. One of the highlights at this Toronto session was the discussion around economic transparency, spearheaded by Paul Lewis, CTO of event sponsor Hitachi Data Systems. One of the reasons the business units go to alternative providers is because they are much more granular in terms of how much it’s going to cost, Lewis noted. “They know it’s $50 per person, per month for this thing, and they don’t have that level of granularity in the IT group.” Lewis contends that IT organizations need to provide much more granularity in their own pricing and should also be making the business aware of the added cost of SaaS offerings for such things as integration and backup. Hear more of Paul’s comments around transparency in the session summary, including videos.

Future IT Security Threats

In November we travelled to Montreal for a Strategic Insights session featuring three security experts in conversation with The IT Media Group’s VP, Executive Programs, John Pickett. This session was loaded with great content, delving into such areas as the need to encrypt all information that cannot be put at risk, the increasingly sophisticated capabilities of attackers, and growing challenges around data classification. One conversation that held great interest was around shifting security priorities, which underscored the need for better situational awareness and good cyber-threat intelligence on what's happening in your business. This session summary page gives a concise description of what is required to build a smart defence for your organization.

These are some of my picks of the most intriguing conversations at our events over the past year, but they really only represent a tiny part of the many fascinating and insightful conversations that took place at these highly interactive sessions.

We hope to see you at one or more of our events in 2015, where you will take home a great deal more information that will help you better manage your IT organization and achieve more success in your career. If you are an IT executive and would like to join us, please fill out our VIP registration form [insert link] with a small amount of contact information and we would be happy to inform you of our upcoming events in your area.

Happy holidays!

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

Leadership Archive