The Calgary Airport Authority –
preparing for the technology needs of the 21st century.
CIOCAL Session October 16, 2017
Bob Sartor, President and CEO since January 2017, and Mike Maxwell, Vice President and CIO since March 2016, both with the Calgary Airport Authority (YYC), gave an excellent and very informative presentation on the mandate and challenges facing YYC, and how they are working together, and with their colleagues, to leverage Information and Communications Technologies to prepare YYC to achieve their shared vision for the future.
Bob described his background and provided his vision, perspectives and determined focus, as CEO, to prepare YYC to be a leading global airport. Being excellent at safety, transportation logistics, and requirements are the “table stakes” but YYC is really in the business of providing excellent hospitality experiences to all their patrons. Bob is leading an imperative to use technology to drive the business and change the organization culture and the way it works to achieve that vision.
Mike described how his prior experiences as an IT professional with leadership responsibilities in projects and a variety of industries has prepared him with a very clear appreciation that “It’s not about what you know about the technology you know; it’s about what you don’t know about the business.” As CIO, his focus is to learn and expose himself to everything he can about the complete business of running and guiding YYC, and to develop his team of direct reports to replace him. This will free him up to focus on the more strategic “business” aspects.
They both then discussed the practical ways in which they work together and keep in touch with each other and their fellow C-suite colleagues, their customers, and their myriad stakeholders. Their working relationship with each other is driven by a common vision that they discuss, explore and recalibrate regularly through formal and informal meetings and discussions among themselves, their colleagues and their customers. They use analogies (If YYC were a superhero, what is your biggest nemesis?), explicit examples of personal experiences in YYC and other airports, and close, collaborative, professional working relationships with their major partners and regulatory organizations, to inform their approaches. Responsible investment in leveraging various technologies (mostly driven by ICT) is an important underpinning to achieving these goals.
A PDF copy of their slides (including the video materials) is available in the Members Only Area of the website.