Attention, IT leaders: I have a unique opportunity to raise your profile as an IT industry leader and join a discussion about an important issue affecting CIOs across Canada.

We are in the process of bringing to market a program originally developed by our sister publication in the U.S. called the CIO Debate. The concept brings together two senior IT executives who can share their perspectives on the opportunities, challenges and best practices around specific kinds of business strategies. We videotape conversations with these two CIOs and showcase them online. An example of the U.S. version of the CIO Debate can be found here: http://cio.com/debate.

Please note that there are no “winners” or “losers” in this debate. It’s not really adversarial at all. It’s bringing the concept of the word “debate” back to its roots: an interactive dialogue between two people who can look at all sides of a given topic. It’s also not a live debate: Because it’s filmed on video, we can capture exactly what you would like to say. CIOs will most likely be filmed individually and we would work around your schedule as much as possible.

The point of these debates is to look at the technology-driven business strategies that could make Canada more competitive. Below you’ll find outlines for the first three sessions, which will look at business intelligence/analytics, the cloud and social media as potential tools for this mission. I need two CIOs for each session; it would be up to you which topic might be most appropriate. I’m not looking for experts in these areas, necessarily, but some CIOs who can talk about how they’re thinking about potentially using these technologies, and how their adoption may (or may not) help boost the competitive metabolism of their firm and perhaps Canada as a whole. If you're up for it, e-mail me at sschick@itworldcanada.com.

 

The CIO Canada Debate Program Overview

As the country continues to fall in international rankings for innovation, productivity and other key performance indicators, CIO Canada magazine is bringing together IT leaders to help develop a plan to boost our competitive metabolism.

The CIO Canada Debate will examine three key areas in which senior IT executives, as individuals and as a group, can influence the culture of organizations to make better decisions, to allocate resources dynamically and to better collaborate with customers, suppliers, employees and with each other. Our initial three debates will include:

Innovation Through Insights: Can business analytics lead to better decisions?

Canadian companies have been collecting, storing and managing data on all kinds of transactions and activities for many years. More recently, they have been building data warehouses and using sophisticated applications to try and derive the kind of intelligence that will lead to better outcomes. Yet many seem to struggle with effective business analytics. Will this technology ever deliver as promised, and, if so, can it help create a competitive differentiator for Canadian companies vis-à-vis organizations elsewhere?

The Off-Premise Organization: Can IT live and thrive outside the company’s walls?

Cloud computing is finally gaining traction as an area where Canadian companies are beginning to experiment with having third parties host non-critical workloads, but the potential is much greater than that. To what extent will this emerging computing model allow corporations here to act faster or grow more quickly than their international counterparts, and how will it change the CIO’s role?

The Constant Conversation: Can social media be standardized and trusted?

Businesses are pulling back on prohibiting the use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and beginning to examine these tools for potential use in marketing, hiring and customer service. What will the nascent era of “social business” look like and how it can it be used by Canadians to generate innovation between companies and their customers?

The CIO Canada debate program will be the beginnings of a call to action by IT decision makers to create meaningful changes in the way we think about technology, and ultimately the way it can used to change the way we work.

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