A number of university professors and industry professionals are meeting in Toronto this week to launch an IT executive management certification program aimed specifically at CIOs.

The inaugural IT Executive Forum featured topics such as meaningful ways to measure the performance and contribution of IT, and best practices in IT service management.

Of particular note is a new certification program aimed at CIOs and IT executives.

“It’s all about the need for IT to be process-driven and business-driven,” says Fatima Cabral, CEO of Pink Elephant Inc., in commenting on IT’s growing contribution to business strategy.

Getting CIOs to become aware of all this implies, however, she admits, has been a long, long road.

“The problem is IT managers are bombarded and the good messages get lost in the shuffle,” she says. “But IT managers are really thirsty for the skills need to be taken seriously as business managers. A lot of IT managers are passionate about this.”

The IT executive program involves classroom training, demonstrating proof that these concepts have been implemented, and finally, certification as IT Executive Management.

While Cabril acknowledges there are a lot of conferences aimed at senior IT executives and CIOs, many tend to be “piecemeal.”

The Pink Elephant approach is different, she says, because it is based on a framework called the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which is generally accepted as the de facto standard for IT services management. Among other things ITIL provides guidance books on managing IT infrastructure, industry best practices and business transformation.

ITIL was first developed in the late 1980s in the U.K. by that country’s Office of Government Commerce and was brought to Canada by Pink Elephant in 1997.

Microsoft, which requires all its employees to have it, is one of its most prominent proponents. Canadian users include Manulife, Ontario Hydro, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Union Gas.

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