The technology tasks awaiting Trudeau

A look at IoT insurance and CSO salaries in our weekly news roundup


Privacy, wireless issues await new government

During his campaign, prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau promised $900 million to boost new high-tech innovations and to fund startup incubators. However, when his cabinet finally gets to work, it will also deal with technology issues left behind by the previous government.

This will include creating regulation for implementing the Digital Privacy Act which came into effect June 18. The act is an update of the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act (PIPEDA).

Privacy officers and chief information security officers (CISOs) will be waiting for indications on how new statutes will impact issues such as breach notification and record keeping requirements.

The new government is also expected to set the rules for the upcoming auction of the 600 MHz wireless spectrum. The wireless industry will be watching close the government’s action on this to determine how active it will be in fostering competition in the industry.

Is your IoT insured?

Standards help developers and vendors save a lot of cost and effort since a common approach tends to curtail the need to always reinvent the wheel.

In the case of the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communication has grown so big and developed separate silos that IT professionals clamoring for some form of standards to govern IoT might have to look at another industry for a solution.

As far as IoT security is concerned, insurers could be a potential source of help, according to Bruce Gustafson, vice president of government and industry affairs for North America at Ericsson.

Cyber insurance is a relatively new field. Its practitioners are developing ways to calculate the risk of a breach. As the field matures insurers will require stronger and standardized safeguards.

The hope is that cyber insurers will encourage the adoption of better data security standards just as insurers pushed the adoption of airbags in automobiles.

CSO salaries on the rise

Things are shaping up pretty well for CSOs in 2016.

The 2016 Technology Survey released by Robert Half Technology indicates that top Canadian CSOs can expect to take home up to just under a quarter of a million dollars in base pay next year.

Salaries of CSOs will range from $146,750 to $234,750 in 2016, up by 6.6% from last year’s figures. That’s the largest salary leap C-level technology professionals in the survey.

Best of expertIP

Workforce mobility Vancouver style

The City of Vancouver is building an enterprise-class managed Wi-Fi network covering city facilities as part of its ambitious mobility plan for its workforce.

The network will provide municipal employees encrypted access to city systems as well as video conferencing and collaboration capabilities on mobile devices, according to Mark McDonald, municipal CIO. He hopes to cut down site-to-site travel for employees, slash data plan expenses and boost efficiency by providing them access to line-of-business apps in the field.

However, McDonald said, the city’s mobility journey illustrates that technology is the least of a CIO’s problem when it comes to such projects. First, the city developed key goals outlining why it needed a mobile strategy such as: improved efficiency and enhanced customer service. Next a committee needed to identify who among its largely unionized staff of 10,000 actually needed mobile capability.

“The key strategy here is to have buy-in at all levels,” he said. “We can’t just throw devices at people and say ‘we’ve got a mobile strategy.’”

The biggest challenge Canadian CIOs face today

The changing attitude towards technology has transformed the way CIOs approach their job and exposed them to an escalating demand to meet internal and external expectations.

Charged with fending off advanced persistent threats, keeping tabs of shadow IT, mobilizing mobility, CIOs have their plate full.

According to three Canadian CIOs who took part in a panel discussion during the recent Mobile Enterprise Canada conference in Toronto these issues and more all boil down to one thing: meeting expectations.

“The perception of the C-level management sometimes is that (digital) is easy and it can be built quickly. And it’s not true,” lamented Nadir Belarbi, CIO of cosmetics company L’Oreal Canada.

One way of dealing with the challenge is to improve collaboration between IT and business people and break down organizational silos. The rationale is that instead of struggling with a question alone, the CIO can pose it to other managers throughout the business.

The upshot, according to David Del Giudice, global VP of HR systems and solutions at Scotiabank, is that the CIO gets to hear what other users need upfront and gain a better understanding of the company from a business standpoint.

There’s another advantage to joining such meetings. Results from a recent CanadianCIO Census released in September, indicated that IT managers who always attend executive meetings saw their IT budgets grow by 6.2%.

From drive-bys to sandboxes

Dax Nair, director of marketing for unified communications at Allstream, has come up with another set of 20 IT terms that normally come up in cyber security discussions.

Most IT professionals are familiar with these terms, but some CFOs, COOs and even CEOs might have some difficulty making sense of the jargon, he said.

In this second installment of his three-series, Nair explains the meaning of cryptic terms such as: dive-by, dropper, East-West vs. North-South, honey pot and sandbox.

TTC plans its IoT route

Data analytics and Internet of Things applications will drive the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) transformation, according to the agency’s CIO Anthony Iannucci.

Speaking at the recent Mobile Enterprise Canada conference in Toronto, Iannucci explained that analytics and IoT applications will initially benefit the TTC internally by providing drivers, dispatchers and mechanics access to accurate real-time information about things which vehicles are running, where a unit has broker down and the location of the nearest replacement vehicle.

On-board “infotainment” screens in TTC vehicles could provide passengers with airline flight schedules as well as concert and arena listings.

The TTC also hopes to launch personalized mobile apps that can track a passenger’s usual TTC route and alert that passenger in real-time of relevant service problems and even suggest alternative routes.

The app might also be used to send ads from TTC sponsors to passengers’ mobile devices.

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