ITAC Ontario is taking on a new focus that puts it more under the umbrella of its national counterpart and emphasizes the development of small and medium-sized enterprise IT companies.
Visitors to the ITAC Ontario Web site will find a stripped-down Web site that primarily consists of a redirect link to the national Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) home page. Longtime ITAC Ontario president Bob Horwood and vice-president Caren Adno have left the organization.
Like its national counterpart, ITAC Ontario has traditionally acted as an IT industry representative to government, and has held a number of special events to help explain provincial procurement procedures and to wrestle with provincial taxation issues. Its other areas of interest included e-health, privacy, IT in education and the wireless sector. More recently, ITAC Ontario has been developing programs centred around corporate social responsibility efforts of various high-tech vendors.
According to ITAC vice-president Lynda Leonard, the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding in 1999 to cease competing with each other for membership. Since then, the two groups have worked on several joint programs and have shared office space.
“There’s been this effusion of activities that caused the board to sit back and re-examine what the role of the ITAC Ontario board should be,” she said, adding that Horwood’s retirement during this period provided some extra impetus to look at changes. “We’ve agreed there’s going to be a much stronger orientation on small and medium enterprise IT development.”
In an e-mail, another ITAC spokeswoman said “there had been branding issues & confusion between the two brands,” although she added that ITAC Ontario would retain its own board of directors, whose past members have included executive from SAP, Microsoft and EMC. The new COO and president of that group is Barrie Marfleet, who formerly worked with Ajilson Consulting.
According to ITAC Ontario, the IT industry is one of Ontario’s largest industrial sectors, employing more 200,000 Ontarians. The association estimates growth rates of more 10 per cent annually.