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Past Events

March 29, 2012

"Tablets, Smart Phones and Handhelds... How are CIOs dealing with mobility in the workplace"

On March 29, the CIO Association of Canada Toronto Chapter once again held a very successful event for our members, this time on the topic "How are CIO's dealing with mobility in the workplace and why is this topic so important?"

After an opportunity to network and enjoy some good refreshments, we had 3 CIOs/CEOs guide us through a round table discussion. The panel included:
• Steve Rush, IT Director, St. Andrew's College (SAC) and Toronto Chapter member, spoke about the role of mobility, SAC's paperless environment and the general integration of mobility within education.
• Joe AbiDaoud, CIO, HudBay Minerals, shared his company's journey in the organic growth of BYOD and how he as CIO leveraged this and developed a governance model for his mining organization.
• Chris Thierry, CEO, ETeleSolv and Toronto Chapter member shared his lens on the challenges he sees for organizations around the lack of centralization of services, systems and supply chain integration.

The dialogue which followed the panel introductions was peppered with questions and shared experiences. It was great to see all attendees were engaged in the discussion and everyone had a chance to share their view on the subject. Takeaways ranged from the role of technology in education and the impact of this in organizations as students move into the workplace, to discussion about the risk challenge that BYOD brings to the work environment. Solutions such as virtualization and creation of multiple user interfaces through API's, to how to protect the organization beyond policy awareness were put on the table, as well as centralization and service plan negotiations as ROI wins. Within the conversation it was noted that social media is integrated into this overall challenge for CIOs. Conclusively, there was no question that CIO's need to pay attention to the consumerization of technology and that this event was an opportunity for peers to share experiences, identify challenges and solutions with each other.

Many thanks to the 3 guides for launching a fabulous conversation! Quotes from our attendees included:
"Like the interactive format"
"Great to hear corporate IT Departments are going through the same growing pains as schools"
"Great to see an engaged and collaborative group sharing knowledge and tips".

Overall, it was a successful evening for our members and those considering joining the CIO Association. The Toronto Chapter events are consistently a successful combination of networking, learning and sharing that strongly connects to and promotes the CIO profession.

Mary Anne Ballantyne
President, Toronto Chapter, CIO Association of Canada
Vice-Head, Technology and Innovation, The Bishop Strachan School

The 2013 CIO Agenda: Top Predictions by IDC Canada

Recap of the Jan 29, 2013 Event

The IDC Canada analysts presented to the CIO Association Toronto Chapter on Jan 29th, 2013 about what they expect will be dominating CIOs’ agendas in 2013. The event was held in the prestigious environment of a conference area in The Bishop Strachan School in downtown Toronto – which happens to be the workplace home of the president of the Toronto chapter, Mary Anne Ballantyne, Assistant Head of Technology and Innovation at the school.

Their Top 10 predictions:--
1. By 2016, LOB executives will be directly involved in 80% of new IT investments
2. By 2015, 90% of IT investments will be evaluated in terms of strategic goals
3. CIOs and CFOs will move to “zero capital” and transform the IT financial model
4. In 2013, CIOs deliver 3rd Platform mash-ups as competitive differentiators
5. 70% of CIOs will embrace a “cloud first” strategy in 2016
6. By 2013, 1/3 of all new app dev will target a mobile form factor
7. Enterprise social networks move beyond pilot stage with business sponsorship
9. IT Talent will be become the biggest barrier to innovation
10. By 2018, 50% of business execs will view the CIO as a business innovator

Intrigued for more detail? You can access a copy of the IDC presentation on the CIO Association website – see the reference to IDC at

Reaction from the audience? Doesn’t get much better – one of the highest rated events by a Toronto Chapter audience.

· The IT component will become more critical to driving business transformation, and by 2018 50% of business executives will view the CIO as the business innovator. But I also heard a wake-up call to pay attention to our teams -- IT Talent will become the biggest barrier to innovation. Staff development will be more critical than ever.
· Strong push from the CFO office to move IT infrastructure to the cloud. This direction helps to reduce capital costs.
· I learned so much! Loved the opportunity to connect with others. Very pleasantly surprised that educator CIOs and business CIOs are experiencing the same challenges and opportunities.
· Every session should be this valuable -- a good use of time

March 6, 2012

RBC Innovation Lab tour

The March 6 Toronto Chapter event was hosted by the folks at RBC Applied Innovation Group, in their downtown Head Office. The evening started with our usual time to network with each other informally over some good food and great conversation. Morteza Mahjour, RBC’s Chief Information & Operations Officer, then provided an overview of the RBC Innovation Lab, sharing good insight with our members how, through this lab, RBC is able to build innovators across their organization.

A tour followed that demonstrated not only the tools in consideration, but how the lab allows business units to visualize the possibility, how it facilitates the connection of people with the notion of what the business application could and can be. Through this lab, IT is able to showcase the work they are doing with business and essentially showcase the opportunities to other BU's. The lab is situated in a high traffic area of business meeting rooms in their building and in fact part of the lab functions as a meeting space giving lots of profile to the innovative work the group is doing with business units. The other very interesting aspect of the RBC model is the low investment cost – and this is due to strategic partnership and sponsorship with vendors. A win for all concerned.

The lab setting allowed members to ask a multitude of questions and the evening ended with new connections made all around.

Mary Anne Ballantyne
President, Toronto Chapter, CIO Association of Canada
Vice-Head, Technology and Innovation, The Bishop Strachan School

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