Ron Huxter is the corporate chief technology officer for the province of Ontario, where he oversees IT standards, enterprise architecture, applied architecture and vendor liaison. After 25 years in the public sector, Huxter can say with certainty that there is never a boring moment working in IT in government. “It is absolutely the most challenging environment that anybody will ever see … the variety is spectacular,” said Huxter. Managing IT in government has allowed the Oshawa, Ont., native to dabble in an array of areas including health services, natural resources, education and children aid.
Before a career in technology, Huxter started out as a geophysicist. After graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Applied Physics in 1983, he did field work with a firm that had patented a way of doing remote sensing of ore and mineral deposits using satellite and electronic equipment. After that, Huxter started his career in government as a geophysicist but his role gradually took on an IT slant as the Ontario Geological Survey began delving into technology by building its own data centres and managing mining data. “That was a lot of computers,” recalled Huxter.
Overall, Huxter has held about five different roles in varying industries in the public sector. Very recently, this CTO now wears two hats: he’s also taken on the role of acting corporate chief strategist.
Early Leadership Exposure
Huxter finds a great leader in Scott Campbell, the first corporate chief information officer for the province of Ontario, for his ability to vision and manage change. Huxter recalls that in 1999, Campbell consolidated 28 systems branches across different ministries into a single IT organization. Huxter admires Campbell for “re-inventing how IT was being done in Ontario government.”
Huxter believes in leading by example and, like Campbell, having a vision and the ability to manage change. “There is no other honest way of doing it,” said Huxter.
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