In the late eighties when the title Chief Information Officer first began to air, it reflected two important trends. The first was the growing recognition of information and information systems as key corporate assets. The second was the changing focus of IT from a largely supporting role for back office systems, to an enabling role in the development of new business capabilities. IT was becoming strategic, and so profoundly integrated into the fabric of the enterprise’s business processes as to warrant consideration at the executive table.

For many reasons, some of them self-inflicted, IT leaders had difficulty selling the idea of the technology manager as business strategist, though it was a goal they could clearly see. But over the ensuing 15 or so years, many were able to demonstrate the legitimacy of the concept and take a seat at the executive table.

Today, the acronym ‘CIO’, whether as a job title or as a functional role, has gained broad currency, and increasingly IT leaders see themselves as a professional community with the opportunity to make significant contributions — individually to their organizations and collectively to their profession.

Through its life, CIO Canada magazine has supported and, to some degree, helped define this community by providing a forum through which its members could share their opinions and challenges, recognize common trends and raise their professional profile. Now we’re entering a new and exciting phase of evolution that begins with the launch of the CIO Executive Council in Canada.

Like no other organization, the CIO Executive Council enables members to act as trusted, unbiased resources to one another while strengthening their businesses, impacting legislative groups, and collectively advancing the agenda of the CIO profession.

I invite you to imagine the possibilities…and I invite you to join your peers on the Council to make them real.

I will personally be contacting many of you to get your thoughts and guidance on how the Council can best serve your interests and I will be devoting my time to developing this community and ensuring that members realize the benefits of participation.

See page 24 for more information and visit the Web site cioexecutivecouncil.com

I welcome your questions and comments.

jpickett@itworldcanada.com