European and Canadian CIOs – challenges and opportunities in the new year

On behalf of the CIO Association of Canada, I had the pleasure of attending the annual EuroCIO conference in Brussels in late November. The theme of the conference was “Digital Business Transformation: What is at stake for the CIO”. There were approximately 100 attendees from sixteen different countries, mostly from Europe, but also from Russia and Turkey. The various presentations and conference sessions were very interesting and well done.

As part of the conference, five hours were devoted to CIO workshops. These sessions were run concurrently and focused on topics of mutual interest to Canadian CIOs, namely:

  • Mobility: Creating and measuring added value (I facilitated this session);
  • The CIO’s role in transforming businesses – moving organizations into cloud-enabled environments;
  • Driving innovation in fast-paced and challenging environments;
  • Cyber security: How to secure operating risks?; and
  • e-Leadership Journey: How to accelerate your transformation to digital?

Each session resulted in a two page summary of the workshop results that was subsequently shared with all of the attendees.

Through the conference presentations, the results from the workshops and various individual conversations, it is clear that the challenges and opportunities facing CIOs in Europe are very similar to those of Canadian CIOs. So be it Cloud, Social, Mobility, Big Data or Security, CIOs on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are struggling to best maximize the advantages of digital transformation while at the same time minimizing the inherent risks.

Like the CIO Association of Canada, the EuroCIO Association exists to provide CIOs with a safe and vendor independent forum to come together for networking and sharing of best practices, for executive development and for advocating on issues of significance for CIOs. The two Associations have formed an ongoing strategic relationship and actively collaborate on a regular basis for the benefit of all CIOs.

In this regard, the CIO Association of Canada will be holding its annual conference, the CIO Peer Forum, in April at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This year’s theme is “CIO 3.0: Drive Business Transformation; Master Change”. Similar to our European colleagues, we will be exploring the issues surrounding digital transformation from a CIO perspective. It promises to be a great event and well worth the time. Hope you can make it.

Gary Davenport


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Gary Davenport
Gary Davenport
Gary is the President of the CIO Association of Canada (CIOCAN) which represents approximately 300 CIOs across Canada by growing IT leaders, speaking with one voice on issues facing CIOs and building a vendor-neutral community for the safe exchange of ideas and best practices.

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