Digital Transformation Week 2020: Advice when you need it most

With the pandemic sparking unprecedented digital transformation efforts, organizations looking to peers and leaders for the best advice on what works and what’s problematic should attend ITWC’s 2020 Digital Transformation Conference and Awards.

The four-day virtual conference slated for July 13-16 brings together national and international DX thought leaders in a series of presentations and panels focused tightly on digital workspaces, artificial intelligence, emerging tech and security and digital transformation from the CIO perspective.

“The COVID-19 crisis knocked five years out of the DX curve for most businesses,” Lars Goransson, IDC Canada’s Group Vice President and General Manager recently told channel business leaders. “It’s now or never for many organizations if they are going to compete moving forward.”

That urgency to transform is at the heart of the DX Week daily sessions that are 60 minutes in length with two optional 20-minutes sponsored breakout rooms available at the beginning and end of each day. Each session will feature a keynote, a panel, a short quiz to test your knowledge and the presentation of either a Digital Transformation Award or during Thursday’s session the CIO of the Year Awards.

Digital Workspaces

What have we learned about Digital Transformation from COVID-19? Quite a bit actually and in Monday’s opening address, Chris Pope, ServiceNow’s Global VP of Innovation will share his views on what that means for organizations as they struggle to find their footing in a working from home world.

That address will be followed by a panels discussion divining best practices in remote work. Jan Bradley, Director and CIO with the City of Calgary will bring the “lesson learned” that came with moving an entire municipal workforce to a working from home posture. Cat Coode, founder of Vancouver’s Binary Tattoo will discuss the security, data and privacy issues that have bubbled up as video conferences move into people’s makeshift offices on their home dining room table.


Register once and you can attend any or all of the daily session.

Artificial intelligence

How, when, and if technologists can develop to a sentient AI platform may make for interesting philosophical rhetoric, but that’s not our focus during DX week. The Tuesday session will look at how a progressive business can leverage existing AI and machine learning to improve their business outcomes.

Who better to learn from than people employing the technology? Our panelists, Tanvir Bhangoo, VP Technology, Freshii, Keith Bradley, Director of Information Technology, Nature Fresh Farms, Carol Wilson, Director Advanced Analytics, Canada Post and Jean-Philippe Couture, Director of Innovation, ProContact, are going to share their experience with deploying AI and how you can too.

The session concludes with the presentation of the 2020 DX Award for AI-inspired transformation. It’s a great case study about how one organization took the leap and is now reaping the rewards.

Security/Emerging Technology

With everything moving so fast, how do I keep up with what’s happening in DX? It’s a question the General Manager at Shopify has been asking himself for many months. And while there is no “final answer” like on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Lorne Padleford will share his musings in a keynote address.

The following panel with tackle the equally perplexing question, How do I stay alert to cybersecurity threats without going mad? Chris Ruetz, AVP & Country Manager, Cyberark will moderate the panel and draw out insights from Gerry Owens, an IT Risk Management and Cyber Security Executive, Kimberley St. Pierre, Director of Strategic Accounts, Tanium, Terry Cutler, CEO, Cyology Labs and author of a new book on cybersecurity, and Michael Ball, e-CISO, Team CISO.


DX for the CIO Prospective

 Jim Balsillie, former Chair of Research in Motion, kicks off the day with his presentation, The Critical Role of the CIO in Canada’s Digital Future.  As one on the leading lights in innovation thinking, the presentation is sure to be thought provoking.

Following Balsille, three other leading CIOs, will share the secrets to their successful transformations. Take notes as  Ricardo Costa, VP & CIO Purolator, Marco Trecroce, Senior VP & CIO, Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts, and Samantha Liscio, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, WSIB,  map the pitfalls and profits of their organizations’ transformation.

Award winner everywhere

What would an ITWC conference be without awards? At the close of each session Monday to Wednesday, we will be acknowledging great examples of DX excellence with a 2020 Digital Transformation Award. Our finalists included  Telus Communications, CIBC, Samsung Electronics, Dentons Canada, PCL Construction, Dream Industrial REIT, Meta Optima Technology, Red Deer County, Field Safe Solutions, SmartOne Technologies, Dealer-FX, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, Westoba Credit Union, AgNovos Healthcare, Cymax Group, the City of Brantford, Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Saskatchewan Government Insurance, City of Toronto, Halton Healthcare, WSIB,  Defence Construction Canada, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Toronto Catholic School Board.

On Thursday don’t miss the CIO of the Year Award.  There will be four winners (Private, Public, Not for profit and Next Generation Leader categories) all of whom will be inducted into the CIO Hall of Fame. The CIO of the Year program was created n partnership with the CIO Association of Canada. FINALISTS


The conference would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.  ServiceNow will host a breakout room before the beginning of each day’s session. Compugen, SailPoint, Cyberark and OutSystems will host breakout sessions at the end of each day.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Steve Proctor
Steve Proctor
Steve is Vice-President Marketing and Communication with ITWC. He spent 25 years in progressively senior positions as a journalist and editor with the Halifax Herald, with his final ten years as Business Editor. He has published two books and his freelance articles have appeared in national and regional magazines. He has led social media and communication efforts for two crowdfunding ventures and written and directed numerous dinner theatres for charitable endeavours.

Featured Articles

Cybersecurity in 2024: Priorities and challenges for Canadian organizations 

By Derek Manky As predictions for 2024 point to the continued expansion...

Survey shows generative AI is a top priority for Canadian corporate leaders.

Leaders are devoting significant budget to generative AI for 2024 Canadian corporate...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now