Forum on World Class IT - 295 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: Collaboration

M.S. Krishnan, Joseph Handleman Professor of Information Systems and Innovation and Professor of Business IT of the Ross School of Business

In this interview, M.S. Krishnan, the Joseph Handleman Professor of Information Systems and Innovation and Professor of Business Information Technology at the Ross School of Business of the University of Michigan, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Challenges to the average CIO being innovative
  • Fostering innovation through sharpening business acumen
  • Creating a culture of innovation that balances experimentation and governance
  • Recruiting IT professionals with a curiosity for business and technology
  • Dangers of relying on a single group to drive innovation
  • Eye on the trends: Cloud based architecture and systems providing the “democratization of capabilities” for small and medium- sized businesses, and the organization’s ability to understand the talent they have through the lens of the ecosystem in which they operate

Stewart McCutcheon, EVP and CIO of Ecolab, Inc.

In this interview, Stewart McCutcheon, CIO of Ecolab, Inc., discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle three, Project and Portfolio Management, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The imperative of the IT organization’s strategy to look to become a source of competitive advantage for global organizations in the future
  • The various ways in which Stewart has built cross-functional capabilities to pull knowledge from the disparate functions of R&D, IT, and business, in a way that enables a greater understanding of the organization’s needs.
  • The important yet difficult conundrum of “build” versus “buy” in a global information technology organization, and the strategic importance of customization of systems and processes in creating competitive advantage
  • The challenges and opportunities Stewart identified when serving as the lead integrator of two merging companies with distinctive cultures and processes
  • Stewart’s unique promotion to CIO from the company acquired in a merger, and potential reasons behind the decision
  • Eye on the Trends: The success of high intensity, goal-oriented task forces formed to improve flawed processes, the growing trend of the CIO having core competency as a business person more so than a technologist

Kevin Steele, CTO of Cars.com

In this interview, Kevin Steele, Vice President of Technology of Cars.com discusses World Class IT Principle Three, Project & Portfolio Management, and Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How he thinks about the experience for both the car buyer and the dealership
  • His role as Vice President of Technology
  • The way he collaborates with other areas of the organization
  • How he gauges success amongst the customers of his organization
  • The growth of mobility as a channel and how that has evolved the customer experience
  • His strategic planning process
  • How he works to understand emerging technology trends
  • The move from Waterfall to Agile development
  • Common elements from the multiple companies where he has worked within IT departments
  • How he has gone about shaping and instilling the culture of the organizations he has worked in
  • Eye on the Trends: Mobile, Autonomous vehicles, and the Big Data space

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

Patrick Thompson, Executive Vice President of Administration and Chief Information Officer of Amedisys

In this interview, Patrick Thompson, Executive Vice President of Administration and Chief Information Officer of Amedisys, a $1.5 billion dollar healthcare company that provides home health and hospice services, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle two, Infrastructure, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How broader responsibilities enable elimination of inefficiencies and departmental silos
  • The unique role of a Business Systems Analyst
  • The importance of integrating IT infrastructure during M&A
  • ROI-driven IT investments and partnerships with Finance
  • Eye on the trends: Mobile agility and computing as it pertains to enabling clinicians in the field, and collaboration technologies as it relates to supporting the continual care of Amedisys’ patients

Suren Gupta, EVP of Technology & Operations at Allstate Insurance Company

In this interview, Suren Gupta, EVP of Technology & Operations of Allstate Insurance Company, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The innovative ways in which Allstate has structured its organization to most effective facilitate a significant business transformation, specifically the various mechanisms used to capture and fund innovative ideas from the ground up
  • The various ways in which Stewart has built cross-functional capabilities to pull knowledge from the disparate functions of R&D, IT, and business, in a way that enables a greater understanding of the organization’s needs.
  • The importance of sourcing technologists that are first and foremost businesspeople when building talent
  • The challenges and opportunities Stewart identified when serving as the lead integrator of two merging companies with distinctive cultures and processes
  • Suren’s hesitance, throughout his career, to focus on getting to that “next level” and his prescribed alternative
  • The increasing importance of a flexible and effective organizational structure through which the key principles of operation, execution, enablement, development, innovation, and differentiation are supported
  • Eye on the Trends: The societal changes and possibilities that will come with leveraging data for wisdom, Allstate’s “innovation councils” composed of senior technology and business leaders with the purpose of bringing new ideas to life

Anne Margulies, University CIO of Harvard

In this interview, Anne Margulies, University Chief Information Officer of Harvard discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Her role as the CIO of Harvard University
  • The strategic plans and future priorities of the IT organization
  • The IT Academy and how she builds new skills for her staff
  • How the IT Academy is administered, and how it functions
  • The toolkit of every IT professional and how she determines what skills are necessary within IT teams
  • Her history with massive open online courses (MOOCs) including edX and HarvardX
  • Eye on the Trends: The Internet of Things, Online Learning

Bill Miller, SVP & CIO of NetApp

In this interview, Bill Miller, CIO & SVP of NetApp, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, Principle Two, IT Infrastructure, Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Bill’s role in NetApp’s transformation from a data storage to a data management company
  • NetApp’s internal product testing initiatives: Customer-1 and NetApp on NetApp
  • The development of NetApp’s Data Fabric for seamlessly managing data
  • The valuable feedback loop created when your CIO or IT peers are your customers
  • How a culture of fraternity and flexibility encourages innovation
  • The three topics on every CIO’s mind
  • The importance of civility and collaboration for successfully running an IT department in a tech organization
  • Pre-working the First 100 Days plan
  • Eye on the Trends: Companies utilizing a hybrid of cloud-based utilities; Pay-as-you-go cloud model

John Bowden, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of IT of Lifetime Products

In this interview, John Bowden, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of IT of Lifetime Products, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, principle three, Project & Portfolio Management, principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • John’s role in the organization and how Lifetime Products keeps technology on the leading edge
  • Lifetime Products’ Global IT team, and the “follow the sun” process they employ
  • How certain portions of marketing report to IT, and the advantages this relationship entails
  • Lifetime Products’ practice of limiting vendors to create a simple, cost effective, and standardized environment
  • Eye on the trends: Mobility and business intelligence, and how the business intelligence environment can be extended to mobile devices so that employees can make quicker decisions from wherever they are

Vicente Fox, Former President of Mexico

In this interview, Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico and Latin American business leader, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The innovative ways in which President Fox has leveraged his business acumen and political knowledge to build Mexico and Latin America as hubs of Information Technology
  • The decision behind President Fox’s move from the private to public sector, as well as the progression in experience and motivation that led him to the Presidency
  • The importance, to President Fox, of setting ambitious goals and how they allowed him to achieve the ends that he sought to accomplish
  • The important role that marketing and communications have played in President Fox’s accomplishments across both the public and private sectors
  • The underlying philosophies, many of which stem from his Jesuit education, that drive Fox to success
  • President Fox’s opinion on the future of Latin American economies as they become increasingly competitive in the global landscape