The times they are a-changin’

It’s safe to say John F. Kennedy was not thinking about information technology and its impact on business when he made this statement, but the words ring as true in the specific instance of an industry as they do in the general context they were intended. In fact, in no other sector is the theme of change more pronounced than it is in high-tech, where the pace of new developments churn away at breakneck speeds. When new and improved products make their way into the enterprise, their predecessors are tossed aside in much the same way a child discards the old toy in favour of a new one. With the possible exception of legacy systems, nothing lasts forever.

And so, the time has come for me to step down from my post at Computing Canada. After four years of reporting on the issues affecting IT leaders in this country, I am poised to take on new challenges – albeit in the same industry – and leave a space for a new editor, who will have new and improved ideas on how to connect with our readers.

I’ve had the opportunity to review our progress in the industry over the course of the last 48 months, and I am proud of the way we have shaped Computing Canada to become the magazine of choice for so many IT professionals in this country.

When I came on board in 2002, the industry was still in a slump, but the signs of recovery were on the horizon. Unfortunately, the bounce back didn’t happen as fast as anyone hoped, but I think the lag forced us all to take a hard look at the products and services we provide. At Computing Canada it meant rethinking not only how we delivered the news to our readers, but also fine-tuning the content to better reflect the changing landscape in information technology.

One of the most significant changes I’ve witnessed in my time here is the evolution of the IT professional, who has become an integral contributor to business growth and productivity. The IT department, once viewed as little more than a cost centre by many business leaders, is now regarded as a legitimate business unit, capable of strategic thinking and problem solving. It’s about time.

I recognize there have been some challenges in this process for many who toil in technology. Part of the allure for some was the prospect of working on projects in relative isolation. But there are too many examples of successful co-operation between IT and the rest of the business to argue the point.

Today, there’s a real push on for IT types to become more business-literate, and that can only serve to strengthen their position in the organization. In fact, beginning in the May 5 issue, Computing Canada will run a three-part series on “Grooming Future CIOs” that will provide concrete action plans for anyone looking to advance their position in the business.

This has been the most amazing journey, and my heart is full of gratitude for all the wonderful people I have met along the way. And while I look forward to turning the page on the next chapter of my life, there will no doubt be some tears as I sign off on the final proofs of this, my final issue.

Fare thee well.

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