Forum on World Class IT - 311 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.

Podcast tags Archives: Board level CIOs

Yvonne Wassenaar, CIO of New Relic

In this interview, Yvonne Wassenaar, CIO of New Relic, discusses World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure, and Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Being a CIO in a cloud based company
  • The importance of CIOs having both a horizontal viewpoint and a technological mindset
  • Taking intelligent risks
  • IT departments as integrators and collaborators
  • The role of CIOs on corporate boards
  • The internal and external functions of a modern CIO
  • Diversity in STEM fields

Eash Sundaram, Executive Vice President and Chief Digital & Technology Officer of JetBlue Airways

In this interview, Eash Sundaram, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People and World Class Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • JetBlue’s Mission: “to bring humanity back to air travel”
  • JetBlue’s biometrics boarding process
  • The two measures JetBlue uses to measure the success of their culture
  • Improving customer experience by merging technology and culture
  • JetBlue Technology Ventures: a venture capital subsidiary of JetBlue
  • JetBlue’s Innovation Lab
  • Eash’s board experience with Champ CargoSystems and SITA
  • Bringing multiple disciplines together to drive success
  • Eye on the trends: near field communication technologies
  • Sheila Jordan, Senior Vice President and CIO at Symantec

    In this interview, Sheila Jordan, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People and World Class Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Symantec’s Integrated Cyber Defense Platform
  • Using the integration of acquisitions as an opportunity to transform and simplify
  • End-to-end reference architecture: engineering to frictionless delivery
  • Building an IT workforce: balancing core competencies, augmenting skills, and outsourcing
  • Staying agile with your team to meet shifting priorities and opportunities
  • The IT department as Symantec’s CustomerONE
  • Women in technology
  • The expanding and strengthening role of IT in organizations
  • Broadening your definition of innovation to spur innovation
  • Bill Graff, Chief Information Officer of Cerner

    In this interview, Bill Graff, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People; World Class Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships; and World Class Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Bill’s 13-year career path at Cerner
    • The critical skills needed for IT leaders
    • How previously being a part of a revenue-enhancing division of Cerner shaped how Bill runs IT
    • Bill’s purview as CIO: security, data centers, corporate IT, infrastructure, IT finance and governance
    • Advice for scaling quickly: robust processes, internal relationships and external relationships
    • Eye on the trends: public cloud, partnering analytics with artificial intelligence, gamification

    Rob Carter, Co-CEO and Chief Information Officer of FedEx Corporate Services

    In this interview, Rob Carter, Co-CEO and Chief Information Officer of FedEx Corporate Services, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • What technology trends Rob is keen to leverage in the next 3-4 years
    • The evolution of Rob’s responsibilities as a CIO within FedEx, and the benefits of having a position dedicated solely to the pursuits of IT advancement and development
    • The significance of board level access for CIOs within organizations
    • Rob’s personal ideology of engagement over complacency in a leadership position within IT
    • Eye on the Trends: The increasing importance of the connection between physical and digital networks, and the resulting innovations derived from the intersection of these two networks

    Helen Cousins, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Lincoln Trust Company

    In this interview, Helen Cousins, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Lincoln Trust Company, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Helen’s unorthodox path to CIO and how it contributed to her understanding of IT as part of a business
    • The value of the broader perspective due to a business background in Helen’s success as a CIO
    • The challenges and strategies in mending the relationship between IT and business to garner support and trust
    • The importance of appropriately marketing accomplishments in IT both internally as well as across the organization
    • Helen’s rise to becoming a Board level CIO and the impact of an IT executive’s perspective to the rest of the board
    • Eye on the Trends: The growing importance of cloud and mobile technology and the need to understand how to analyze and leverage risks to gain support for related projects

    Ralph Szygenda, Former Group Vice President and Chief Information Officer of General Motors

    In this interview, Ralph Szygenda, former Group Vice President and Chief Information Officer of General Motors, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Ralph’s opportunities and the key factors that led to him being invited and accepting a variety of board positions.
    • The advantages of and value added from holding board positions while still being an active CIO.
    • The necessity of having the correct “mixture” of a business and a technology background to become a board level CIO.
    • The current state of the CIO role and how it has evolved over the past few decades.
    • The importance of guiding younger IT leaders and training them to succeed as C-level executives.
    • Eye on the Trends:1) Mobility – the ability to have 24/7 access to information from both the internal and customer side 2) Big data and analytics – how companies can use the vast amounts of data they have access to 3) Cloud – how to leverage the vast knowledge and resources accessible through the cloud while ensuring security and compliance 4) Computing Innovation – what does the future, in form, anatomy and capabilities of the computer.

    Tom Nealon, Board Member at Southwest Airlines and Fossil Group

    In this interview, Tom Nealon, Board member at Southwest Airlines and Fossil Group, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Tom’s journey from company to company and what led him to become a CIO and a member of the Board of Directors and his emphasis of being a “business guy specializing in technology.”
    • The uniqueness of Tom’s background always having technology being a part of his life but not necessarily having the requisite technology background and instead having a business background.
    • How Tom, as an IT executive, ended up taking on the responsibility of corporate strategy – a traditionally very “business” role.
    • The value from the perspective gained from being on a management team and a Board of Directors simultaneously.
    • Tom’s belief in being driven, motivated and curious about the work one does and not specifically being ambitious to achieve a specific title or board position.
    • Eye on the Trends: The growing importance of and requirement for CIOs gaining a business understanding and driving towards being business leaders with deep technology understanding rather than being technology specialists working with the business.

    Angela Yochem, Global Chief Information Officer for BDP International

    In this interview, Angela Yochem, Global CIO at BDP International, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT and Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • The unique learning experiences she gained at BDP by virtue of being a global company with close ties to the global economy and marketplace
    • Angela’s rise to becoming a Board-level CIO and the unique advantages that can be gained from serving as a member of a Board of Directors
    • The historical reasons behind why CIOs haven’t traditionally served on Boards and her advice for other CIOs who wish to become Board-ready
    • The current state of women in IT, it’s potential growth and her concerns for the future
    • The unique advantages she gained from her non-traditional background with an undergraduate degree in Music
    • Eye on the Trends: The increasing impact of technology in companies and how the recognition of that fact is causing Boards to seek out CIOs

    Matt Carey, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of The Home Depot

    In this interview, Matt Carey, EVP and CIO of The Home Depot, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Matt’s role at Home Depot and the steps Home Depot has taken to improve its technology preparedness since he joined
    • How Home Depot used technology to transform itself to a customer-centric retailer despite the global economic downturn of 2007 and 2008
    • How Home Depot integrate IT and Business functions to facilitate understanding across the enterprise and ultimately improve customer experience
    • Matt’s involvements in multiple Board of Directors and the unique advantages that can be gained from serving as a member of a Board of Directors
    • The historical reasons behind why CIOs haven’t traditionally served on Boards and Matt’s advice for other CIOs who wish to become Board-ready
    • The changing expectation, roles, and responsibilities in today’s corporate IT departments
    • Eye on the Trends: The increasing desire of boards to include CIOs as companies, regardless of industry, and their customers become more technology centric with regard to the services provided or desired