The Waterloo area is already known as a hotbed of successful Canadian technology startups such as Research In Motion and Open Text, and Google has established its Canadian presence there. Communitech, however, wants to highlight the professionals who implement IT products and services, said its executive director of communications and government relations Avvey Peters.
“We’re trying to build bridges with tech leaders in other sectors,” she said. “We think from our conversations with CIOs that many of the issues are common, and this will be a really good opportunity to share expertise. Whether you work in health care or manufacturing, you’re going to find good content with your peers.”
Communitech conducted conversations with a handful of CIOs who took part in the event and presented the results in a report on key issues facing those in the role. The report was consistent with what many CIOs have been saying for some time: they are strapped for talent, they are focused on security and they are trying to drive more innovation in their organizations.
“While the CIO is finally becoming entrenched on the senior management team, a few CIOs we spoke with would admit they are not quite in the boardroom yet,” the report says.
Peters said the report reinforced Communitech’s faith that a summit of executives from different vertical markets would meet a need. “We were encouraged to find that there were similar themes that were aligned with those of other technology leaders,” she said. Those are the folks that are going to be able to say, ‘From my perspective, in doing the same type of job that you do, here are the things I have learned.’”