Voice of the CIO

To heighten awareness of the key role played by CIOs in organizational performance, CIOCAN raises issues of common concern and significance for Canadian CIOs across the industry.  CIOCAN is positioned as an important resource on issues facing our economy and our society involving information technology.

We provide research, commentary and information about matters such as elements of IT leadership, privacy legislation, the IT skills shortage and the expanding educational and apprenticeship opportunities in fields related to IT. Here are some of our own publications, and some provided by our partners — CIOCAN members are able to access them by logging in.

Signposts for Change in ICTC’s Labor Market Outlook

I hope that you will take the time to read ICTC’s latest Outlook Report for 2015-2019, “Smart Economy Reshaping Canada’s ICTC 2015-2019Workforce”. You can probably get by with reading the executive summary, and taking deeper dives at points of interest.

Gary Davenport, President of the CIO Association, pulled out the following 4 points:

  1. The Balance of Contribution in Innovation will shift outside the ICT Sector
  2. The more IT is integrated into other industries and professions, the more IT will be attractive to women and youth
  3. The ICT (or STEM) Background is now a Key Ingredient in “The Secret Sauce for Success”
  4. The ICTC Outlook Report and the Digital Adoption Campaign

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) provides The Digital Lens, a quarterly snapshot of Canada’s Digital Economy

ICTC has created an extensive review of the broad economic trends with respect to the ICT labour market, technology developments, as well as exclusive results from the Canadian Consumer Technology Experience survey.

Examples of some key conclusions:

  • Despite a fragile global economy, in 2012 Q4, Canada’s ICT sector created 1,086,000 jobs and contributed 5% (or $68.35 billion) to Canada’s total GDP of $1,288 billion
  • Consumer appetite for mobility is rampant demonstrated by 64% of 18-34 year olds owning smartphones, and 24% of households having a tablet. Fast pace adoption is paving the way to new forms of content consumption, communications, education, manufacturing and health services.
Read the report

CIO to CEO: Barriers and Success Factors II

The CIO Association of Canada and Ryerson University released a paper that provides new data on what factors contribute to the success of outstanding CIOs, as demonstrated by their appointment to the most senior organizational roles.  This CIO_to_CEO_II_coverreport lays out those factors and provides detailed career guidance for aspiring IT leaders. A 2012 review of the literature identified over 100 instances of the upward move – CIO to CEO or COO. The paper analyzes interviews conducted with 29 of those who made the leap: commonalities emerged about their work environments; their knowledge and experience; and the personal attributes that contributed to their outstanding achievement and consequent upward mobility.

The current paper builds on a 2010 study, extending the number of interviewees in Canada and the US, and applying a data-coding model to the interview responses, allowing for superior identification of commonalities for analysis.

The Conclusion:
CIOs can make outstanding contributions as business leaders – to the point where they make it to the CEO position:

  • when the environment is right (a mature organization with good IT governance structures in place);
  • when they go beyond proficiency in IT Leadership basics and extend their experience in other senior business portfolios;
  • when they have excellent “soft skills”, most particularly the abilities to communicate and motivate others;
  • when they manage their education and careers with the intention of  making a superior business contribution.