The CIO of the Year awards program added Next Generation Leader as a new category in 2020 as a way of recognizing individuals who demonstrate outstanding talent as future leaders in the tech sector. This year’s winner, Rita Lazar-Tippe, has the passion and drive demanded of recipients in this category, as well as the organizational skills to bring innovation to staffing, business planning, and common practice approaches.
In just over two years in her role as Director Insights, AI, Innovation and IT for the Alberta Pension Services Corporation (APS), Lazar-Tippe has chalked up an impressive array of wins with the introduction of new strategies and security architectures. According to Bruce Hanley, VP & General Manager, Aruba Canada, who presented Lazar-Tippe’s award during ITWC’s Digital Transformation Week program, by encouraging APS to place a premium on innovative thinkers for the Information Technology department, she exemplifies an innovation-first mindset that percolates throughout the organization.
Lazar-Tippe is responsible for a five-pillar program which includes access to data, data quality, governance, analytics, and information management. With these front of mind, she created an innovation working group to deliver workshops to every staff member. Topics such as developing a growth mindset, culture hacks, the importance of design thinking, facilitation, and think tanks were key to Lazar-Tippe’s mission to provide APS employees with a common language for understanding terms, methodologies and tools – a language she deemed essential for changing the organizational mindset when it comes to digital transformation.
More recently, Lazar-Tippe has used information management and MLS tools to develop a 360-degree view of the organization. A major component of this is the integration of new tools to achieve successes, such as improving the speed at which calls are answered, reducing the number of callers that hang up while on hold, improving satisfaction with employer representatives, and increasing overall member and pensioner satisfaction.
Always keen to embrace new ways of doing things, Lazar-Tippe helped to introduce robotic process automation as a way to greatly reduce the handling of APS’s mailout of member statements. Even with 10,000 more member statements sent year-over-year, this employee-sponsored initiative resulted in savings of $50,000 in the first year alone, with savings estimated to triple in the second year.