2018 CanadianCIO of the Year (Private Sector) award winner Mark Saunders joined Sun Life Financial in 2009. At that time, Sun Life was not spending much on IT or innovation. However, Saunders was instrumental in Sun Life’s change of course, hiring not only the technical team to support his ambitious goals but also prioritizing a transformation of his new organization’s office workspaces.

In short order, employee engagement was through the roof, and Sun Life was on several “top workplaces in Canada” lists, including LinkedIn’s. Sun Life’s new global headquarters at One York, established in 2017, hosts the Ignite Studio space that is inspired by the most innovative firms in Silicon Valley.

Saunders’ team uses an agile development approach to deliver at least one new release to the mobile channel per quarter. The firm’s My Sun Life Mobile app on Google Play and the App Store is the highest-rated app in Canada’s financial industry.

Saunders’ team has also delivered Ella, an interactive digital coach that is accessible through the mobile app, or Google Home or Amazon Alexa.

To read more about Saunders: ITWC