Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable meets

 

The Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable (ITIR) held its latest meeting at the end of June 2016.

The Information Technology Infrastructure Roundtable

  • Brings together representatives from government and 11 national and regional information and communications technology sector organizations, representing small, medium and large enterprises across Canada.
  • Conducts early, open and ongoing consultation with industry to validate approaches on complex issues related to Shared Services Canada’s (SSC) IT Transformation Plan, and to identify best IT solutions.
  • Was established in November 2012, meets quarterly, and has held 11 meetings to date.
  • Is chaired by the President and Chief Operating Officer of SSC.
  • Is open and transparent; publishes all of its meeting materials, including lists of participants and summaries of discussion, on SSC’s ITIR website.

The ITIR is an important forum for Shared Services Canada (SSC) and the Government of Canada as it allows the Department to draw upon the expertise that resides in the private sector. SSC’s partnership with the IT industry is an excellent means for coming up with cost-effective and innovative solutions to meet the goals of the Government’s IT transformation agenda.

More than that, the ITIR represents the kind of openness that SSC seeks to have with its industry counterparts—a venue for direct and candid discussions between people at the top levels of government and industry.

The June 2016 ITIR meeting brought together representatives from SSC, other government departments, and eight national and regional industry organizations in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

SSC President Ron Parker was pleased to welcome the ITIR’s newest member, Digital Nova Scotia, and its chairperson Bruce MacDougall.

During the meeting, Mr. Parker gave a brief update on SSC’s plans and priorities. He also noted that the ICT sector is one of the key stakeholder groups that will be consulted as part of the Department’s IT Transformation Plan reset.

Dr. Raja Mita and Rollie Dykstra, from Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures, gave a presentation on the Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative. This program allows small and medium enterprises the chance to showcase their technology to potential customers, enables simultaneous technology and market development, and pays dividends to the province in the form of job creation and economic development and diversification. One of the key principles behind the ITIR is that the business community, including small and medium enterprises, has a vital role to play in supplying the kind of technology solutions that will help SSC meet its commitments to Canadians.

In a presentation on cloud enablement, SSC Special Advisor Dave Adamson noted that extensive industry consultation was carried out in partnership with provinces, territories and municipalities, which led to 67 responses to a Request for Information and 64 one-on-one meetings. This level of consultation is an example of the kind of government-industry engagement that is fostered and encouraged by the ITIR.

SSC senior officials shared the revised Data Centre Strategy, which focuses on service excellence, enabling partners to use enterprise services, and addressing aging legacy infrastructure. They also presented a brief update on the Government of Canada’s IT Transformation Plan—a plan that will continue to rely heavily on the ingenuity of the IT industry as represented at the ITIR.

John Messina, the Chief Information Officer of the Government of Canada, gave a presentation on the Government of Canada IT Strategic Plan. This plan is related to and supported by SSC’s IT Transformation Plan, which is currently open for consultation.

SSC IT Transformation Plan Consultations

Shared Services Canada is consulting employees, federal departments, industry and Canadians on its IT service delivery and transformation goals, which will be considered before finalizing the IT Transformation Plan. The consultation will run until October 31, 2016, and can be accessed from the online portal. Comments are welcomed.

The IT Industry Roundtable is much more than a series of presentations, because each presentation offers industry representatives the chance to hear about what SSC is planning to do. More importantly, though, it gives them the chance to discuss, to ask questions and to envision the part they could play in turning those plans into reality.

Asked about the value of the ITIR, SSC President Ron Parker says: “At the ITIR, we meet with member organizations from every region in Canada and from every sector of the information and communications technology world. This is a very useful and productive venue because it gives SSC leaders the opportunity to look outside the walls of the Department and tap into some of the outstanding expertise that resides in the private sector.”

Materials from the June 2016 meeting, including a list of participants, are posted on the ITIR page of SSC’s Internet site.

The next ITIR meeting will be held November 21 in the National Capital Region.