We had the chance to speak with Chris Ford, President of Intelliware, who discussed his recent appointment as the company’s leader, the leadership skills he plans to bring to the Intelliware team, the current trends he is noticing among Canadian organizations engaged in digital transformation, and the strategic ways that businesses can support the advancement of Canadian tech talent.
Chris Ford, President at Intelliware — Chris is a senior business executive with over 20 years of market experience specializing in strategy and implementation of technology transformation services. Chris has led a multitude of engagements, including architecture, business delivery, development, strategy and digital transformation. He is a recognized thought leader in his field and has published articles on non-functional testing with an emphasis on performance and operability domains. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Systems Design Engineering with an option in Cognitive Sciences from the University of Waterloo.
How has your career been as a senior business executive with more than 20 years of industry expertise, focusing on strategy and execution of technology transformation services and managing a wide range of engagements?
Over my 20+ year tenure as a business leader, I have been fortunate to have had a wide range of experiences pushing me to constantly improve myself as a leader and a student. And the fact is, I am still learning! Technology is always changing and evolving, and I continue to challenge myself to stay up to speed with the newest innovations.
I find that in this practice of continuous learning, I am able to bring the best to the table for my team. I enjoy being a direct part of not only developing strategies, but also implementing them by diving in with our teams on projects. Nothing is more satisfying than developing a strategy with a talented team and seeing it come to life for your client.
What do you have to say regarding your recent hiring as president of Intelliware, a business with a reputable track record among significant Canadian corporations that has created some of the most popular programs in the nation for clients?
I have admired Intelliware since I first encountered them 15 years ago. As the original Canadian agile software development firm, Intelliware has been a leader for over 30 years in this industry. Not only are they a leader, but they have continued to elevate themselves as a company, having a long-standing track record of reliable, high-quality implementation. Plus, their culture is not just a buzzword; it is something they take seriously (and have for years), emphasizing respect for their people, clients, and engineering excellence.
How will you apply your expertise and the lessons you’ve learned to the Intelliware team, as your leadership represents a significant change in the Canadian business community?
In 2022, technology is critical to any meaningful change in the business world. While I bring lots of experience working with various industries, Intelliware also has a phenomenal track record of delivering exceptional projects, and I am excited about the opportunity to synergize these two aspects. With my experience in aligning strategy to implementation roadmaps, I look forward to connecting Intelliware to an upper stream in the strategy development phase, something that will amplify the business to the next level of growth.
What trends are you currently observing among Canadian organizations engaged in digital transformation?
Overall, expectations of Senior Leadership are beginning to change. Leaders are increasingly expected to have a much more fundamental understanding of technology, and because of this, we will start to see more technologists in leadership positions across the board—even in traditional businesses like banking and insurance.
This is positive for our business ecosystem here in Canada and beyond. An ever-increasing number of Canadians are eyeing technology and software development for their career, and this is so great to see. We have a great education system, and I would love to see this trend continue as digital transformation becomes increasingly pertinent. It is so important for the future of Canada and our economic development, which relies on information, technology, and services.
What are the strategic means by which businesses may support the development of Canadian tech talent?
This is where businesses come into play. Canadian businesses can emphasize hiring from domestically owned and operated businesses, like Intelliware, who have been, and continue to be, committed to developing Canadian talent.
Our businesses here in Canada can also start to frame technology organizations as strategic partners and enablers of their future success. Many organizations often see technology positioned as a secondary function and merely a cost centre. We need to shift this thinking. It is no longer strategically wise for organizations to think this way. Nurturing tech talent as organizations embrace digital transformation is critical if companies want to continue to thrive in the future.