Connections +
Feature

IT managers & the Quest

Info-Tech Research Group deserves kudos for launching a new competition aimed strictly at the often beleaguered IT manager.The London, Ont. research firm recently announced the winners of its first, but not last, Quest for Canada's Smartest...


July 1, 2010  


Print this page

Info-Tech Research Group deserves kudos for launching a new competition aimed strictly at the often beleaguered IT manager.

The London, Ont. research firm recently announced the winners of its first, but not last, Quest for Canada’s Smartest IT, a campaign that resulted in 70 nominations being put forth by organizations of varying sizes from across Canada.

“The IT manager’s job, as you know, is not one that gets celebrated a lot,” said James Alexander, senior vice president with Info-Tech and CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Officer) of the Quest. “Most do not hear anything unless there is a problem and rarely do we hear about those that are doing a good job.”

That all changed in mid-June at a gala event. Below are the winners. The descriptions beside each were written by Info-Tech.

Canada’s Smartest IT for Business Enablement: Blue Mountain Resorts manages to maintain IT costs at less than 2.5% of the business’ overall operating budget while running some of the most advanced systems across the company. Their Business Intelligence implementation achieved a return on investment of 1800% based on their ability to gain and share insight into business and customer habits that influenced scheduling, buying and investment. Blue Mountain’s IT department has retained 100% of their employees since opening their doors.

Canada’s Smartest IT for Community Empowerment: Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board successfully supplies thousands of special needs students with assistive technology on a daily basis. This is no small feat as licenses for this specialized software at each computer workstation are simply not in an education budget. This IT department has leveraged the benefits of a server-based-computing strategy to deliver the much needed software to its special needs pupils through the use of application virtualization and active directory group memberships.

Canada’s Greenest IT for Business Enablement: Earth Ranger’s IT department chose to virtualize instead of adding racks of servers to their data centre. Because of this one decision, the organization has saved nearly 85% in energy costs. This translates to 100,000 kilowatt hours per year, drastically reducing the carbon dioxide output of the data centre. Earth Rangers has not only “greened” their data centre but they have also made “green IT” a core value for the entire organization.

Canada’s Greenest IT for Community Empowerment Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) created a “Green Team” led by an IT Manager and including the CEO as a team member to ensure that green initiatives would be incorporated broadly across the organization. Beyond the green IT initiatives they have put in place including virtualizing the data centre and consolidating office tools such as printers, the team models and teaches principles of environmentally responsible behaviour to staff and their membership to create long-term impact.

The Quest for Canada’s Smartest IT “Wow Award”: The Hospital for Sick Children led the development and implementation of eCHN as a tool to help health care providers across the province quickly exchange medical information critical to children’s health. Currently eCHN extends across all regions of Ontario with 100 hospital sites, including six tertiary care centres, and captures the records of more than one million Ontario children and over five million patient visits annually. This technology is used daily as a tool to help save the lives of our children.

For anyone interested, The Quest will continue next year. “We know there are really cool things happening out there where IT is being used to change the way not only how businesses operate, but whole communities and ecosystems,” said Alexander.

Further information is available at www.smartest-it.ca.