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Peter Burns
Director, Information Services
High Liner Foods Inc.
Lunenburg, N.S.
Product: Seafood
Do you rely on internal IT staff, or would you rather outsource? Where does your innovation come from?
Our internal IT staff is partnered with specific functional areas or sub-companies.

How do you measure the value created by IT to be innovative and how do you know if it works or fails?
We track the success of business improvement projects, expansion to new markets and the introduction of new products.

In your business or industry, where do you see growth coming from and how does IT fit into the picture?
IT will partner with functional business areas to innovate and select top solutions to enable these business improvement projects.

What makes your business unique and how do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
It’s a combination of products, services and brand loyalty.

When it comes to building your business or new product innovation, do you like to build any of your own IT applications or do you prefer packaged solutions?
We always assess which is the best option. The (higher)costs of buillding and maintaining, plus the loss of focus, usually makes the buy decision easier. The odd solution must be built as it is so strategic, but that is as rare as hen’s teeth.


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Rick Bannister
Controller
Hollandia Bakeries Ltd.
Mount Brydges, Ont.
Product: Cookies
Do you rely on internal IT staff, or would you rather outsource? Where does your innovation come from?
I don’t have official internal IT staff. It’s myself and one other computer-literate person. We innovate by trying new things to accomplish what is needed.

How do you measure the value created by IT to be innovative and how do you know if it works or fails?
Measuring the value of IT is very nebulous. I rely on subjective judgment.

In your business or industry, where do you see growth coming from and how does IT fit into the picture?
Growth will come from better knowing what the consumer wants. IT can help by providing fast and reliable analysis of sales and other data.

What makes your business unique and how do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
Our business puts an emphasis on home-style products. We try to convey that we are not a faceless conglomerate but a business run by people just like your neighbours.

When it comes to building your business or new product innovation, do you like to build any of your own IT applications or do you prefer packaged solutions?
We are too small to develop our own IT applications so we rely entirely on packaged solutions.


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Nicole Mitenko
Manager of Technology
Kenway Mack Slusarchuk Stewart LLP
Calgary
Service: Accounting

Do you rely on internal IT staff, or would you rather outsource? Where does your innovation come from?
We predominantly use our in-house staff, but on a project-by-project basis we will supplement our knowledge base and resources with external consulting. In 2006, we (tried) outsourcing a small percentage of our tax returns to India.

How do you measure the value created by IT to be innovative and how do you know if it works or fails?
Whether it works or fails is easy – are the users (chartered accountants) in the firm productive or not, or is the IT group spending excessive time in support mode? In terms of innovation, IT has positioned itself to work with the business.

In your business or industry, where do you see growth coming from and how does IT fit into the picture?
We are a service firm – building relationships with our clients is key to the firm’s success. IT assists with placing information/data in front of both the employees and clients faster and easier. Timely access is crucial.

What makes your business unique and how do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
The firm takes great steps to ensure the quality of work is accurate. The firm is responsive to clients, employees, industry and the local market, yet willing to take risks through trial and error. We have a mindset of growth, strategy and progress.

When it comes to building your business or new product innovation, do you like to build any of your own IT applications or do you prefer packaged solutions?
We are not in the business of developing software. Developing products because we think we are different is not efficient or effective. We have taken products from other industries and applied them to ours. We try and learn from everywhere.

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