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New & Notable

The latest news about The IT Media Group. What's happening in our world: new clients, new relationships and new initiatives.

Shadow IT - a New Normal for the CIO

On Thursday, May 28th, the IT Media Group returned to Calgary with another popular CIO Masters Series Roundtable. The topic of "The CIO in a Data-driven World" garnered the interest of 19 senior IT executives representing telecommunications, energy, utilities, financial services, retail, manufacturing, transportation, technology, and education.

John Pickett, VP, Executive Programs of the IT Media Group kicked-off the conversation with a relevant and pressing question about the local economy and its impact on IT.

"The best strategy to cope with times of change is change", said Michael LoughLean, Director of IT for Calfrac Well Services. That theme dominated the rest of the conversation. To our pleasant surprise, instead of doom and gloom tales, the majority of the CIOs were refreshingly upbeat. Several described their challenges as "transformational times for survival and growth". They believe that proper business process management, governance, and continued focus on talent are the key factors for IT credibility and longevity in the current macro-economic climate.

Another observation was that CIOs view Shadow IT as a mechanism to enable innovation. They believe that in order for IT to demonstrate value to their stakeholders, CIOs must accept shadow IT because it can provide a source of fuel to grow the business.

Despite this acceptance, participants were looking for practical strategies to optimize shadow IT. CIOs feel that organizational dynamics, lack of processes, and C-suite support can slow down progress and minimize the value of IT. Peter Taylor, VP of IT for Shaw Communications, urged his peers to make no distinction between business and IT because IT is the business. He feels that building a "circle of trust" with his peers across the organization was vital to long term success of the IT organization. Participants shared strategies, use cases, and tactics about how to manage data growth, analytics, cloud and cloud services, and vendor relationships.

Hitachi Data Systems sponsored this event and was represented by Paul Lewis, CTO for Canada. Paul is no stranger to our Roundtables and is actively engaged in the CIO community. Having been a senior technology executive for more than a decade, Paul was previously a client of Hitachi and is intimately aware of the challenges his peers are dealing with. As the responsibility for IT budget continues to evolve and cloud services are changing the game, Paul believes it’s essential for CIOs and IT organizations to achieve a level of economic transparency across the C-suite. The implementation of a services-based cost model is the key to deliver on the promise of business-defined IT.

The session ended at 10:30 AM as promised, but we wished that we had more time to discuss a variety of compelling topics. One thing we know for sure is that we’ll return to Calgary for another engaging session. If you would like to be included next time, please fill out this short VIP form.

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