Business Review, Canada and USA Introduces CIOCAN to their Readers.

The article below, written by CIOCAN President Gary Davenport, appears in the August 2016 edition of Business Review Canada & USA.  As mentioned in our newsletter, Business Review is offering CIO Association members the opportunity to profile your company in their magazine, showcasing your business/organization, activities, services, etc. in the form of a company report.  To submit your proposal, contact Kaytie Storm, Regional Director USA & Canada-Technology, 

Digital CIO Leadership in Canada

GaryDavenport-Jul15Chief Information Officers (CIOs) live in tumultuous and exciting times. Similar to other c-suite executives, CIOs never have enough time nor money to do all of the things that are inherently required to optimize organizational performance for the key stakeholders, including customers, employees and shareholders. However, unlike other c-suite executives, CIOs are in the eye of the storm for digital transformation initiatives and must master the plethora of new technology opportunities while not missing the beat in supporting the existing operations. They must also demonstrate the prerequisite leadership and judgement skills to discern the greatest value drivers out of all of the noise in the market. Not an easy task for CIOs and certainly not for the faint of heart.
The CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) is not-for-profit, vendor independent organization that exists to serve the needs of CIOs in Canada. This is accomplished through networking, sharing of best practices, promoting executive and next generation leadership development and being the “voice of CIOs” on issues of significance for the profession and the information, communications and technology industry within Canada.
This is the 12th year for CIOCAN which has grown from humble beginnings to now having 325 members right across Canada with local chapter operations in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa. CIOCAN has strategic relationships with a number of leading edge organizations and academic institutions, with the focus being on providing greater value to existing members, growing the number of members and increasing the collective influence for the benefit of Canadian businesses. This is encapsulated in the CIOCAN vision of: Growth; Influence; Impact.
Our members are busier than ever before. Be it cloud computing, social media, mobile apps, big data analytics or the Internet of Things (IoT), CIOs are moving aggressively to become “Digital CIOs”. These successful CIOs are not spending their time mainly on internal back of house activities, but instead are actively engaged with their customers, peers, subordinates and strategic suppliers in constantly looking for new ways to improve both business effectiveness and efficiency. They are letting go of some of the traditional way of doing business and being open to new possibilities. At the same time, they understand that they never lose primary executive leadership accountability for IT operations and the corresponding service levels, so they build organizational structures and third party relationships that make those things happen but without the need for their direct oversight and hands-on involvement.
The “Digital CIOs” communicates in the language of the business, not techno speak. These CIOs are not afraid to challenge the status quo. They are current on the latest trends and directions in their industries and have an awareness of external threats and opportunities. They are comfortable in dealing with the ever increasing complexity of technology infrastructures and the related regulatory and legal requirements, while also being able to simplify and focus on the essence of any issues. They understand that positive user experiences and appropriate data security and protection measures are givens in today’s world. They operate in an agile and flexible environment, but also understand that structure and processes are necessary to ensure consistent quality and predictable results.
The “Digital CIO” does not forget the lessons from the past and, in fact, respects and values those things that may have been painfully learned so that the actions that they take today and tomorrow in support of the ongoing digital transformation agenda can be enhanced and amplified for all the key stakeholders. They understand that their ultimate success is dependent on building bridges between the past, present and future to create value for all stakeholders. Most importantly, they lead by example to advance the CIO profession and organizational innovation and productivity, which benefits all of us. CIOCAN is pleased to be part of facilitating a supportive environment for Canadian CIOs and amplifying their successes and lessons learned for businesses across the country.