Careers: Interviews
Kevin Brown - CIPS Fellow, Vice-President of Information Technology for ENMAX Corporation and Past Chair of the CIO Council for the Conference Board of Canada

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

Kevin BrownMr. Brown is responsible for all information technology policy, planning, provisioning and reporting, as well as maximizing the corporation's return on information technology assets. In addition, he is a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Brown has over 30 years of experience in the information systems industry including previous positions with the EPCOR Utilities, ATCO, and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Mr. Brown has been active in the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) since 1984 and has served as president of both the local and national organizations and helped gain Alberta recognition of the I.S.P. as a professional designation. He is the past Chair of the Conference Board of Canada Council of CIOs. He remains active in Alberta promoting the information and communications technology sector as a strategic contributor to the economic future of Alberta. He frequently speaks on the subject of professionalism within the IT industry.

His community contributions include serving as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Edmonton Street Performer's Festival, and serving on various advisory boards of education and community based organizations in Alberta.

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

:00:54: While you were serving as Chair of the CIO of the Conference board what were your key priorities and do you see these key priorities continuing on today?
"....A key priority is to serve as a medium for our members to exchange experiences, knowledge, and ideas relating to information technology and information management...."

:02:18: What are the current challenges to business that you want to address?
"....The overall contribution to information technology organizations to organizational strategy....The whole area of critical thinking that organizations have come to expect of their IT leaders....The challenges we are seeing because of the changes in our workforce...."

:04:49: You have programs for working with youth - what is your data indicating? How do you plan to invoke change?
"....What we concluded as CIOs, (we had input from CIPS, ITAC, educational institutions that were represented), was that really the challenge that we face is in our own locale. As CIO's we were in the best position to make a contribution locally...."

:08:52: You have noted US legislation about IT Manager accountability. Can you comment on that and what this means to us in Canada?
"....Increasingly the boards of corporations are becoming much more aware of how important the CIO is as one of the critical legs on a stool that are necessary to ensure compliance. So along with legal, HR, executive management of the corporation, the CIO is looked upon to be aware of any legislation and regulations and to bring forth the things that he/she feels the organization needs to do to be in compliance...."

:11:15: We can learn from your long history of successes. Can you profile how you got to your present position and what your current role entails?
"....I've had great opportunities in my career to serve in the IT industry and network with people and to see the opportunities that organizations, (like CIPS), through their tremendous networking ability affords practitioners...."

:16:48:  Can you share your views on the top challenges facing business, industry, government, and education in 2008 and beyond?
"....We have a real challenge in driving business change in supporting business agility, and not just in business but also in government....Another area is future skills shortages...I think the skills shortage is this whole ability to deal with our workforce, not just the changes in the workforce but the changes that are impacting the workforce....Another is this whole area of social networking and the impact it is having on collaboration in the workforce...."

:24:38: What role do you see CIPS playing in the broader community, business, industry, government, education, and internationally?
"....I would urge CIPS to have a very balanced inward and outward focus...."

:32:23: Kevin gives his views on the International Federation of Information Processing (IFIP) and the Professional Practice Partnership Program (IP3) with its global initiative to launch the idea of a code of ethics, global standards, a common body of knowledge...., and professional certification.
"....I continue to applaud their (IFIP) efforts and I think they need to continue to do that. But I do believe that equally as important is to find some very short term way in which to offer value into the industry at the level at which the small business can recognize...."

:36:00: You have undertaken many leadership roles, what two qualities have you found to be most useful to you?
"....Really having a passion for our industry and what it can contribute....Really working from a core of integrity...."

:40:18: Take this time to comment on any topics of your choosing....if you were doing this interview, what questions would you ask and then what would be your answers?
"....'How should we be inspiring youth to consider an entry position in information technology, information management, or a related field?'...'How do we go about creating a vision for the enabling role of information technology across all industries and all organizations?'....'How can information technology be used to contribute to the quality of life of seniors who have a vast degree of experience and knowledge to share and to capture?'...."


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