Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams

Director of Information Security

Williams outlines the importance of balancing innovation with security and leading a purpose-driven security strategy

Joining HOOPP in late 2018, Williams’ previous experience includes acting as an Information Security Analyst at ADP, and Regional Manager (Information Systems Security & Privacy) at William Osler Health System.

Reflecting during a time when the pandemic is reinforcing the value of healthcare workers on a daily basis, she states that it was actually HOOPP’s enduring dedication to supporting them that drew her to join the company. “I really believe in the importance of our healthcare workers receiving one of the best pensions in Canada. I jumped at the chance to help deliver a security programme that aligned with a very innovative digital transformation strategy.” 

Coordinated between Williams’ and her colleague Raif Murray’s (VP IT-Corporate Solutions Group) departments, HOOPP has been engaged in a significant transformation of its enterprise digital technologies. This has been a journey consisting of four primary aspects: implementing Agile methodologies, shifting to a flat structure, migrating to the cloud, and incorporating a “work from anywhere” program. The cloud migration, in particular, has enabled a much more agile operating model, of which Williams is quick to highlight the security benefits: “The cloud migration that happened in 2019 set us up for success in 2020. Our security program can now pivot much quicker and has been well-equipped for the transition to remote working.”

Once cloud was in place, Williams adds that the security team began examining the best way to transition from ‘on-prem’ infrastructure to a multi-cloud environment. Her team’s goal was to make sense of the new operating paradigm and search for innovation opportunities. “You don't typically hear about security programs being innovative (because that implies a level of risk-taking), but in order to make a successful digital transformation you have to be comfortable trying new technologies, weighing the options with your team, and building a strong program with the right skill set.”

Williams makes it clear that an organisation having a tangible sense of purpose and direction is crucial. In this regard, she says, HOOPP excels: it isn’t willing to compromise on its vision. When choosing IT partners and vendors with whom they’re seeking a long-lasting relationship, Williams asks, “Do they share our values, does their roadmap align with our roadmap, do they have long-term vision and are they able to keep pace with us?” 

Crucially, she also recognises that HOOPP’s success is a direct result of its skilled employees, which exhibit dedication, optimism, collaboration and perseverance in everything they do. “All of the things we've accomplished in the last two years have been the result of our very supportive and skilled teams,” Williams concludes. “Without those great people working together, I'm not sure how successful we could have been.”

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