Andrew Dillane predicts that the IT leader will be the most important business leader in the next decade and beyond. “I’m a big believer that IT can do a lot more than just enable the business. I personally think that view is a little weak. I think it should have an equal place at the table,” said the chief information officer for Randstad Canada Group.
Having been at the Toronto-based staffing firm for about a decade, the Burlington, Ont.-native has had the chance to dabble in more than just IT, moving in and out of various operational roles and dabbling in customer service and back office operations. Despite the opportunities Dillane has had to apply IT at Randstad, he thinks the staffing business in general still has a long way to go. “I think we’re barely scratching the surface,” he said.
Although Dillane had set out to become a chartered accountant, having graduated with a business degree from Ryerson University, his love of technology steered him to his first job at IT solution provider Davis & Henderson. Dillane consulted on both IT and business issues. “I really tried to tie in my CA education,” he recalls. After that, he was manager of technical services at a software development company called Call Stream Communications. A startup, Newspaper Express Services, spun off from that company and Dillane joined as director of IT and operations.
For five years now, Dillane has volunteered with the CIO Association of Canada where he is able to contribute to the profession in other ways such as creating networking opportunities. In the last year and a half, Dillane assumed the role of president. “I’ve always liked the big visionary-type opportunities,” he said.
Early Leadership Exposure
Dillane recognizes many great leaders in his life, but he recalls Phil Cameron, a then-RCMP officer and coach of his junior hockey team, who had the unique ability to create teams with “amazing synergies.” “Leaders really bring out the best in their people and help them to achieve more than they ever thought possible,” said Dillane of Cameron.
Dillane also remembers an “unbelievable mentor” in his high-school mathematics teacher who sacrificed personal time to help students. Dillane recalls Mr. Martindale saying, “Math is not a spectator sport. You just need to jump in a do it.”
Dillane has noticed that successful leaders are good people at the core, possessing qualities like humility, drive, and a desire for the best for everyone. “The thing that stands out for me is they’re great people first,” he said.
Nominations for the ComputerWorld Canada’s IT Leadership Awards is closed. Winners will be announced in October.
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