We are at one of the most exciting times in history with innovation in business driving innovation in IT. As the incoming President of the CIO Association of Canada, Humza Teherany brings a unique perspective to the role – he is both Chief Executive Officer of Compass Digital Labs & Chief Innovation Officer of Compass Group Canada. Given that business dynamics are fluid and ever evolving, Teherany knows intimately the importance of linking business and the role of technology.
Gartner’s definition of IT Strategy is clear: “IT strategy is the discipline that defines how IT will be used to help businesses win in their chosen business context.” Simple. Concise. Meaningful. Yet, with technology innovation occurring at a rapid pace, it can be difficult to navigate today’s digital world.
I connected with Teherany to chat about becoming the new president, digital business, and his vision for the CIO Association of Canada.
Brian Clendenin: You have been a member of the CIO Association of Canada for several years; what have you found most valuable?
Humza Teherany: I joined the CIO Association of Canada almost 5 years ago, it’s been a vast, valuable experience for me. As a CIO, having a large network across industries is very important. Through the association I have had the chance to meet hundreds of CIO’s from across our great country, and engage in very meaningful conversations about our collective challenges, opportunities and strategies. Having the ability to pick up the phone or send an email to colleagues that share similar challenges and compare notes is absolutely invaluable.
Clendenin: What is your vision for the CIO Association of Canada over the next two years?
Teherany: The role of the CIO as a business leader in today’s digital economy is priceless. CIO’s have the ability to transform any business in the world. The current state of technology allows us to move quickly and drive real top and bottom line value within our companies. Our members, some of the best and brightest technology leaders, are creating amazing innovations all across the country. This is a very exciting time to be a CIO and I am looking forward to continuing to establish the CIO Association of Canada as the voice of innovation in the country.
Clendenin: You have a very unique role at Compass Group Canada. What does your role as the Chief Innovation Officer mean to you in today’s digital world?
Teherany: The most important part of my role is driving change that impacts our business results. I spend a lot of time with my business peers discussing and devising strategies. We then leverage technology to accelerate the achievement of our business goals. We don’t look at technology for the sake of technology, every one of our initiatives is tied into a tangible business result. Technology is now seen at Compass to be a key part of how we operate our company.
Clendenin: How do you see technology transforming business processes in a world that is more global and digital?
Teherany: From start-ups to innovative enterprise solutions, there is an overflow of technical capabilities in the marketplace. It is important to remember however that technology is the enabler, getting down to the right business problem or opportunity is the real trick.
Clendenin: What final thoughts would you like to share with the member community?
Teherany: Today, every business should be a digitally enabled business. CIO’s are at the forefront of leading this change. Collaboration and partnerships are key factors to get our digital strategies ahead and keep them ahead. I’m excited to see the innovations our members will continue to drive into the Canadian marketplace to continue to make Canada a leader in innovation globally.
The CIO Association of Canada looks to have an exciting next few years under Teherany’s leadership. The challenge for CIOs and business leaders alike will be to continually think and talk about future user demand and the evolving work environment to create lasting strategies.