Five Canadian IT leaders prevail at Info-Tech’s 2023 CIO Awards

Five Canadian IT leaders, representing various industries and organization sizes, were honoured as winners of the Info-Tech Research Group’s annual 2023 CIO Awards.

The winners are as follows:

  1. Sandee Dela Cruz, Searchlight Pharma Inc.
  2. Scott Fossenier, Regina Catholic Schools
  3. Jonathan Green, Guelph Police Services
  4. Brent Lee, Legislative Assembly of British Columbia 
  5. Carrie-Ann Williamson, Town of Whitby

The winners excelled in stakeholder satisfaction, as measured by Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision program for 2023.

Stakeholder satisfaction, Cole Cioran, managing partner for Canadian public sector services at Info-Tech, said, is the most critical metric for technology leaders.

“Understanding stakeholder satisfaction is the gateway to building effective partnerships and delivering innovative solutions. CIOs need to understand how they and their teams’ capabilities are perceived by stakeholders in order to position themselves as a partner and innovator who understands both what stakeholders want and actually need to become satisfied with the solutions IT delivers,” he said in an interview with IT World Canada.

He continued, “Without this understanding, CIOs will find themselves stuck fighting fires or, even worse, being told how to run their department.”

Winners were also recognized for aligning IT services with their organization’s strategic goals, hence setting a precedent for strategic IT planning.

Carrie-Ann Williamson, director, technology and innovation services at the town of Whitby, explained how she focused on building a strong staff team, bolstering the foundations of the town’s infrastructure layer, modernizing tools and enterprise systems and looking at opportunities for automation.

For instance, the town of Whitby started planning for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) implementation. Additionally, they re-booted their IT governance model, and project intake, as well as their work prioritization model. 

Williamson noted, “We focus on ensuring we understand what the organization needs to achieve and how we can partner with our clients and our vendors to be successful.  Equally considering people, process and technology is our key to success.”

She further explained that her team is excited to take on uncharted waters, experimenting with things like ChatGPT and Microsoft 356 Copilot, while at the same time acclimatizing to the technology in a safe place, looking at and learning about things like data governance, ethics, bias and more.

Cioran acknowledged that the most successful Canadian IT leaders are those that lean into the exponential technology curve and embrace new ways of delivering technology. 

He detailed the opportunities that can help Canadian IT leaders make a difference:

  1. Building a robust foundation of high quality data coupled with data-savvy digital end users 
  2. Leveraging zero-trust based security approaches as part of holistic digital trust programs
  3. Adopting flexible funding and delivery models to implement modern technology solutions
  4. Moving beyond experimentation to implementing AI-powered solutions for core business systems and digital services

See the full list of winners here.

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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