SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

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Nearly Half of Canadian IT Executives Surveyed Want the CEO Job, Cogeco Data Services Report Finds

Career aspirations of Canadian CIOs and senior IT leaders are evolving in light of the increasing strategic importance of information technology as a driver of business transformation and growth

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/11/14 -- Canadian Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and senior information technology (IT) leaders are looking to move from running IT and computer systems to running the whole business, according to a survey released today by Cogeco Data Services, a Canadian provider of fully managed hybrid ICT (communications and IT) solutions.

The survey, commissioned by Cogeco Data Services and hosted on the Angus Reid Forum in March 2014, found that nearly half (46 per cent) of senior level IT professionals are interested in being CEO of their organization (or another organization) and a considerable number (82 per cent) believe that their experience as an IT decision-maker positions them well to take on this role. The survey also revealed that a strong majority (87 per cent) of IT executives see the growing importance of technology for overall business success as increasing the chances of CIOs and senior IT leaders of stepping into the CEO position or other C-level roles in core business decision-making functions.

"These findings clearly illustrate that business is evolving and the capabilities and knowledge required to lead successful companies in the current marketplace are changing. In light of this, the opportunity for IT executives to play a leading role in shaping and driving their company's strategy has never been greater," said Tony Ciciretto, President and CEO, Cogeco Data Services. "ICT has become an essential part of creating a competitive advantage and more and more senior IT professionals are breaking down silos and stepping up to the task."

The perception of the role of IT and the job description of IT executives is continuing to transform in a big way across Canadian organizations. According to the survey, close to two-thirds (61 per cent) of senior-level IT professionals feel that over the past three to five years, their job has changed in that they have more executive leadership responsibility. At the same time, 60 per cent of senior IT leaders also said they are now providing more strategic input into other business lines or functions. In terms of the impacts of technological innovation on their role, many IT professionals surveyed (46 per cent of respondents) feel that the IT department has shifted or is seeing a shift to being viewed as a profit driver versus a "cost centre."

"We're seeing that Canadian companies are adopting transformative technologies, including solutions for enterprise mobility, big data and cloud computing," added Ciciretto. "The most successful companies will be led by executives who, regardless of their position or discipline, truly understand both the complexities and the potential of these technologies, and are able to turn them into business opportunities."

About the Survey

From March 24th to March 27th, 2014, an online survey was conducted among 495 randomly selected Canadian adults aged 18+ who are employed in organizations starting from a minimum of 25 employees up to large enterprises, and are a decision-maker or influencer in IT decisions for their organization. Respondents included 143 executives in C-level or senior management positions, and 352 middle managers or intermediate professionals. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Cogeco Data Services

With its suite of ICT solutions (Data Centre, Managed IT, Private and Public Cloud IaaS, Connectivity, Voice and Professional Services), Cogeco Data Services supplies its customers with the fast, reliable and secure ability to access, manage, move and store large amounts of data worldwide. The Company's 'always on', tier 3 quality data centres and reliable, redundant network provide some of Canada's largest companies and public sector organizations with near limitless bandwidth and secure facilities for hosting, storing and managing mission critical data.

For more information about Cogeco Data Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cogeco Cable Inc. (TSX:CCA), visit cogecodata.com, or connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

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