Careers: Interviews
Ken Lamoureux, Executive Director, Strategic Services & Innovation ICT Services Manitoba

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., DF/NPA, MVP, CNP has an exclusive interview with Ken Lamoureux, I.S.P.

Ken LamoureuxKen is a long time widely acknowledged top-echelon business and technology leader and innovator with a success history that encompasses many senior executive positions. Moreover, Ken is a leading Information Systems & Technology executive with a professional background spanning several years in the public, private and charitable sectors, executive level experience in technology management, strategic planning, operations, project management and business systems development.

His progressive senior management experiences include: Vice-President and Chief Information Officer with the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation, a $1.4 B venture where he led the award-winning planning, development, implementation, and strategic management of Information Systems & Technology. Ken also innovated with Great-West Life Assurance as an analyst, project manager, and manager responsible for business systems training/standards, Information Centre, Architecture & Planning and new technology based initiatives.

After a brief flirtation with early retirement/consulting, Ken returned to full time duties as Executive Director, ICT Strategic Services and Innovation for the Province of Manitoba.

Ken's passion for contribution extends to community involvement including board and executive positions with: St. Boniface Hospital; United Way; CIPS Winnipeg, CIPS Manitoba, CIPS National; Manitoba Children's Museum, and Red River College.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:37: Ken profiles some of his key roles and shares some valued insights and career lessons that he has gained from those roles.
"....One of the career lessons which I learned out of all of this was.....'what have you done for us lately?'......the more that is delivered, the greater the expectation. However this is a very positive outcome because it keeps you wanting to grow and always pushing boundaries...."

:02:30: Ken shared a story with me that that I found intriguing. Jonathon and his partner won First Place in Canada in the MIS category at the Queen's Inter-Collegiate Business Competition. Ken elaborates and provides background on the competition.

:03:44: You are passionate about service and community involvement. Can you share your roles and experiences from your work in this area? How has your life been enriched by your involvement?
".....One of the most important things professionals can do is to widen their network of colleagues. Volunteer work facilitates this...."

:04:55: Ken shares stories illustrating his experiences - from his work and his community involvement.
"...this experience gave me the drive to push limits and see success where others might see otherwise....learning that you can't let the detractors get you down when your vision is not shared by others...."

:06:03: Specifically in the technology space, what are your department's priorities for 2008; for the next 3 years?
"....To drive continuous transformation for approved public services and maximize investments made in ICT by extending ICT assets into the broader public sector....To significantly improve Manitoba's research capacity and create an atmosphere of innovation to drive economic growth....To drive and support the Climate Change Action Plan and expand on green opportunities for Manitoba...."

:11:03: Can you drill down further in your social network Web 2 initiatives using SharePoint and what this means?
"....It'll allow the younger folks to work with tools that they are familiar with and also it will provide our more experienced workers(especially the ones who are considering retiring) to use this as a way of putting some of their knowledge into a form that can be shared with others before they retire...."

:13:36: How do you see the technology landscape building in your region as compared to globally and the rest of Canada?
"....We've been provide substantially more services directly to citizens via the internet. We have roughly eleven initiatives in the coming three years to accomplish this....."

:14:32: What are your views on ways to align IT with business needs, driving business agility, and managing risk through improved governance?
"....The business has to be involved in all aspects of Information Technology, decision making and service delivery. Proper governance demands that their representatives have key decision making roles and hold key positions in an overall steering committee...."

:16:17: How can we close the skills gap and meet future skill shortages?
"....If we continue to focus on hiring only experienced staff where does that leave the new grads coming onstream?.....The business community and the governments have the responsibility to our graduates. They need to take these people in, skill them up (in terms of the skills that they need applied to their businesses), but give them the opportunity to get the skills that they need to move forward...."

:17:26: How can we address the productivity gap in Canada versus other countries and improve ICT adoption rates?
"....Both from a private sector and a public sector standpoint, I see that ICT needs to be viewed as an investment in the business and/or programming areas - not just the cost of doing business...."

:18:49: We hear so much about Gen-Y (post 1980's) and their impact. What does this mean to business?
"....The kids today are more comfortable with computers than any other time in our history. We can say that about any other generation over the past 50 years or so, but today's young adults have been exposed to or have had direct use of computers since they were born...."

:20:21: Can you share your views on the top challenges facing business, industry, government, and education in 2008 and beyond?
"....The lack of qualified staff....we have to start hiring and grooming our young grads.....We have to keep up the investment and nurturing of the aboriginal community....when you consider that 25% of our population is aboriginal, I don't think we can say the same thing about the workforce and that needs to change, and I think technology is the area that can really set the tone on this one....The pace of technology upgrading....that needs to be accelerated so that as a province and as a country we can be more competitive...."

:22:15: What are effective steps to address these challenges?
"....I think it needs to be addressed at all levels within the community - manufacturers, service providers, business, educational institutions, governments, and the social services sector...."

:24:02: Ken gives some of his predictions for the top business and technology trends, their implications, and opportunities.

:26:11: Ken shares what he sees as his added priorities going into 2008, and what he hopes to accomplish.

:27:15: From a personal perspective, what do you hope to achieve in 2008?
"....Both in the public sector and in health care (my volunteer work with St. Boniface General Hospital where I sit on the Board), I find that the whole area of health care and the crisis that health care is facing right now to be very fascinating. I think that there is a contribution that a lot of IT people could make from a voluntary standpoint in health getting involved with various committees and boards and sharing their knowledge with health care people in their quest to use more automation....."

:28:33: What role do you see CIPS playing in the broader community, business, industry, government, education, and internationally?
"....CIPS can help the IT community get more engaged in society itself...."

:29:54: The UN-founded International Federation of Information Processing or IFIP has their Professional Practice Program which received full ratification at the world general assembly in August 2007 with their first implementation meeting in Montreal hosted by CIPS in October. This marks an historical inflection point and speaks to IT as a recognized profession with global standards, profession-based code of ethics, and widely adopted professional certification-all happening in 2009. Can you comment on the benefits of this global initiative?
"......We need to move the complacent majority on the benefits of being a professional. You look at plumbers and electricians - they recognized years ago the benefits of getting their ticket. I think it is time that ICT professionals should also be getting their "ticket" in the form of an ISP designation.....I think it's really important as a community in the industry that we finally take that next step in the maturity of the profession...."

:33:10: Take this time to comment on any topics of your choosing or if you were doing this interview, what question would you ask and what would be your answer?
"....I've been asked by a lot of folks why I would come out of retirement to do this kind of work and secondarily why would I come into the public sector?...."


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