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CIO Peer Forum 2017 Digest February 14, 2017
Hello and welcome to the first newsletter highlighting this year's CIO Association signature event: the 2017 CIO Peer Forum. As co-chairs of this year’s conference, Mussawar and I are excited about the program we have put together, along with the incredible speaker lineup.

Digital Transformation, 4th Industrial Revolution, and Digital Disruption are just some of buzzwords that fill our inboxes on a daily basis.  However as leaders in this new digital world, how do we create the digital business?  There is a gap between concept and reality, so we have created a program that will help close that gap and give you tangible insight so that you can create your own digital business.
As the CIO role continues to evolve, we need to evolve with it, expanding our professional scope and personal development. Through this newsletter series leading up to the Peer Forum, you’ll find teasers of the topics that will be covered by thought leaders and practitioners.  I invite you to check out the full program and register to join us and other colleagues in two days of learning, networking and sharing of best practices. 

I look forward to welcoming you to Edmontion for the CIO Peer Forum 2017.
Shaun Guthrie
Director, Information Technology
Go Auto

KEYNOTE: Bruce Croxon

Surviving and Prospering in a Period of Unprecedented Disruption


Long before “social networking” became a buzzword, Bruce made his mark as a digital pioneer by co-founding Lavalife in 1988. Under his direction, this early tech start-up grew into the marquee brand
in online dating with over 2,000,000 users (and countless successful marriages!). After its spectacular rise and with the support of his partners, he led the sale of the company for a stunning 180 million dollars.

Bruce is now taking his expertise to a new level; he currently helms Round13, a company dedicated to investing in growth-stage digital companies like Sprigg Software and Round Assist. He also peruses personal investments in the health and wellness sector, owning Vida, a chain of high-end holistic spas on the west coast of Canada. 

Most recently, he invested in FEAST, an allergy-friendly fine food store based in Toronto. As an investor on CBC’s Dragons’ Den for three years (2011- 2013), Bruce added a broad range of businesses and products to his portfolio including Balzac’s Coffee and EnRICHed Academy, which tap into his passion for digital media, marketing and contributing positively to the community.

Bruce loves to speak to entrepreneurs and share his experiences. With 20+ years of helping young companies grow and 3 years investing on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, Bruce has a wide range of deal exposure and practical advice. Bruce gives particular importance to the visions and values required to grow organizations in a fast moving business environment. 


PLENARY: ATB Financial: The Rise of the Chief Evangelist

Dave Mowat, President and CEO, ATB Financial

We are delighted to have Dave Mowat, President and CEO of ATB Financial speaking at the upcoming CIO Peer Forum in Edmonton April 26-27, 2017. Dave is re-imagining ATB Financial to drive innovation and digital transformation. As such, a new style of leadership and roles are being created to meet that vision. A key leader on Dave’s impressive executive team is Lorne Rubis, now the Chief Evangelist at ATB Financial.

ATB Financial: The Rise of the Chief Evangelist
By Brian Clendenin, IT World Canada Contributing Writer

Business is continually evolving. Every enterprise is going to have to fundamentally rewrite the way they work in a digital world. This means the culture of a company, the way in which people collaborate both internally with team members and externally with customers, will all have to adapt to stay competitive. For the people within an organization, a customer-centric mindset should be at the heart of guiding principles during transformative moments in a company’s cultural evolution.

Disruption in any industry requires an evangelist to lead the way. For example, at, Vala Afshar leads the way as the company’s Chief Digital Evangelist and Guy Kawasaki during his time at Apple was famously quoted as saying, “Evangelism isn’t a job title, it’s a way of life.” As such, executive leaders across Canada are thinking about the future demands on their business and key success factors required from both a technology and people perspective. This balance is extremely important to reflect upon in today’s increasingly fast paced world. I reached out to Lorne Rubis, now the Chief Evangelist at ATB Financial to get his perspective and insights. Based in Alberta, ATB Financial is one of Canada’s leading financial institutions.  Known for being innovators, they focus on the need to adapt to customer expectations, and understand the importance of team members having passionate purpose in everything they do in order to delight customers – everyday.[READ MORE}

WORKSHOP: Big Data, IoT and the Law: What You Need to Know

Kelly Friedman, Partner DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, Toronto Office

An information-based economy presents a real challenge for privacy law.  The law requires the protection of personal privacy, while economic and other social imperatives push us to work to reap the economic and social benefits of a fully-connected, Big Data world.  We cannot ignore privacy law, and we cannot stop the Big Data revolution.  We must find a way to reconcile the tenets of privacy law with technological innovation.

Big Data Benefits
I use the term Big Data is to describe the large quantities and varieties of data that are available to be processed and to be analyzed to draw inferences and conclusions.  Big Data analytics requires data, algorithms, and physical platforms, such as data centres, where the data is stored and analyzed.  But Big Data stores can be hacked, and their contents used for inappropriate or nefarious purposes. Security services are an essential component of the Big Data infrastructure.

The sources of information for Big Data are everywhere – internet use, social media, mobile applications, government and commercial databases, the many internet connected devices that collect data from the physical environment (the Internet of Things or IoT), GPS chips, in-person payment transactions, and so on.

There are some truly remarkable benefits that can be derived from Big Data.  For example, in 2013, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), and IBM Canada synthesized millions of data samples from monitors in neonatal intensive care units and were able to identify factors that serve as early warning signs of life-threatening infections for newborns.

Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Canadian privacy law is based on the principle that, even while a company may have physical control of an individual’s personal information, the decisions about how to collect, use and disclose the personal information should reflect the individual’s consent and personal preferences. [READ MORE]

BREAKOUT SESSION: Approach to Digital Transformation

Yvon Audette, National Leader, IT Advisory, KPMG in Canada

Digital is not a thing. It is simply a word that describes our world today. Advancements in technology have blurred the lines between physical and virtual,creating
an emergence of digital disruptors that provide new
pathways for organizations to create value.

We believe digital is broad in its impact, but also industry-specific. It goes far beyond the front office to facilitate true enterprise-wide business transformation so organizations can build sustainable competitive advantage. While we understand that embracing digital may present its own challenges, we view disruptors as enablers rather than inhibitors, allowing businesses the opportunity to innovate, transform and thrive. 

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