The next step in uniting CIOs

The Canadian IT executive profession recently took a significant stride forward with the announcement that the CIO Executive Council , a professional member-driven organization of Chief Information Officers, has expanded into Canada. The organization gives CIOs a united voice on technology matters impacting their companies and society, as well as an opportunity to work together to make better business decisions and advance the profession of the CIO.

Founded by the creators of CIO magazine, the CIO Executive Council ( launched as a global initiative in April 2004 and now has 230 members worldwide. The Council also announced the formation of an Australian branch, as well as plans to expand into Europe and Asia.

John Pickett, who has held many senior positions with CIO Canada and its parent IT World Canada, has assumed the post of Executive Director of the CIO Executive Council of Canada (, responsible for the strategic direction of the regional office. He will be supported by a local Board of Advisors made up of a distinguished and experienced group of top technology executives.

“We see the CIO role is becoming universal; the goals, challenges and corporate aspirations are similar, whether based in Hong Kong, Sydney, New York or Calgary,” said Pickett. “Yet while corporate mandates are increasingly global, organizations operate within the cultural, political and regulatory context of their own region. We’re thrilled to be part of this exciting initiative, which provides double value by adding a Canadian context for members as they interact with the global community of their peers.”

While all members benefit from access to the global peer community, the CIO Executive Council of Canada offers Canadian CIOs the opportunity to interact with other IT executives locally. Canadian members can address their mutual issues in the context of the Canadian regulatory, economic and business environment. They also set their own agenda, and their collective voice will be a powerful influence to ensure that Canadian governments, academic institutions and industry develop effective policies and practices to keep Canada and Canadian business competitive in the global marketplace.

Key initiatives for the Canadian office’s first year include nominations to the Canadian advisory board as well as setting an agenda that focuses on the challenges facing the Canadian CIO.

Mark Hall, General Manager of the CIO Executive Council, announced the expansion of the Council into both Canada and Australia in July. “CIOs are continuously hammered by the demands of regulation, competition, staffing deficiencies and other challenges, making it exceedingly important for us to come together as a global entity and leverage our collective experience and knowledge. We are excited to be taking this first step in global expansion with Canada and Australia, and we look forward to working with these Council offices to further advance the CIO profession worldwide,” said Hall, who is also CIO of CXO Media, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading technology media, research and event company.

By the end of its first year, the CIO Executive Council had organized ten task forces driven by seven committees, generated more than 50 case studies and reports, and conducted over 40 face-to-face meetings and conference calls. The organization’s initiatives have been reported in various major media outlets such as the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and USA Today.

The Council is also very active in publishing materials of interest to its members. In the past three months alone, it has published the ‘IT Value Framework’, ‘Sarbanes-Oxley Playbook’, ‘IT Staffing Report’, and ‘Vendor Performance Report’.

Look for reports on the CIO Executive Council and its Canadian office in future issues of CIO Canada.

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