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Forum on World Class IT - 319 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

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January 3, 2011: Richard Hunter and George Westerman, Authors of 'The Real Business of IT'

Among other topics, Richard and George discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy:

  • The “Value Path” of establishing sound communication between CIOs and the business
  • The importance of explaining how technology can deliver value to the business, as opposed to just explaining the technology itself, when CIOs are communicated with business partners
  • “Value Traps”, and how subtle missteps in communicating with the business can send the wrong message
  • The relevance of a CIO being a technologist or not, and the advantages of a new CIO coming from outside of IT
  • The IT “Virtuous Cycle”, and how focusing on addressing needs identification, transparent oversight, process and organization change, and application development solution delivery should be top priorities for CIOs
  • The authors’ thoughts on emerging trends in IT

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Richard Hunter’s Biography

Richard Hunter is vice president and research director in Gartner Research, where his recent work has focused on matters of interest to CIOs. Mr. Hunter is the author of “World Without Secrets: Business, Crime and Privacy in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing” (Wiley&Sons, NYC, 2002), “IT Risk: Turning Business Threats Into Competitive Advantage” (Harvard Business Press, Boston, 2006), and “The Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value” (Harvard Business Press, Boston, 2009), the latter two works with co-author George Westerman. He is in much demand as a speaker and advisor to CIOs.

Mr. Hunter was elected a Gartner Fellow in 2003. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Harvard University. He is a world-class harmonica player who continues to compose and perform, and is the author of the world’s best-selling method for jazz and rock harmonica players (“Jazz Harp”, Oak Publications, NYC, 1980).

George Westerman’s Biography

George is a Research Scientist in MIT’s Center for Digital Business. His research and teaching focus on how executives can create value by bridging the IT/Business gap. Major themes include digital innovation, risk management, and communicating about value. George is co-author of two award-winning books: The Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value and IT Risk: Turning Business Threats into Competitive Advantage. His research has also appeared in top academic and management journals. He is faculty chair for the MIT Sloan executive education course entitled “Transforming Your Business through IT.” In addition to presentations and workshops, George works regularly with senior executives on topics related to digitization and IT management.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview