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.

Podcast tags Archives: Cost Control

Jim Knight, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer of Chubb & Son

In this interview, Jim Knight, EVP & Global Chief Information Officer of Chubb & Son, a global property and casualty insurance company, discusses principle three, Project and Portfolio Management, principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships, of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Technology in the competitive arms race
  • Collaboration in a Global CIO governance structure
  • The enterprise PMO’s ability to facilitate consistent delivery
  • IT’s stabilizing value in uncertain economic times
  • The importance of establishing business intimacy
  • Eye on the trends: Three major disruptive technologies- portable devices with enhanced functionality and performance to enable the workforce, big data and the potential for analytics to drive critical business decisions, and cloud computing and its ability to facilitate faster market entry

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

Chris Scalet, Former Executive Vice President of Global Services and Chief Information Officer of Merck

In this interview, Chris Scalet, the former EVP, Business Services and Chief Information Officer of Merck, 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 Chris familiarizes himself in new environments through engaging business leaders
  • How Chris’ role expanded as Merck built a multifunctional shared services capability
  • How Merck focused on the three step model of consolidate, integrate, and optimize
  • The evolving role of the CIO, and how CIOs have more opportunities to see across the business
  • How the CIO role has evolved such that CIOs are more about the business than they are technology
  • Eye on the Trends: Mobility and how it changes the way we interact with customers, business partners, and employees; the need for CIOs to embrace and appropriately manage consumerization of IT, and how cloud computing will become more pervasive

Jim Fowler, CIO of General Electric

In this interview, Jim Fowler, Chief Information Officer at General Electric, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Two, Infrastructure, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How he has transitioned to the role of GE’s CIO, having come from GE Capital
  • His area of responsibility
  • The financial acumen required for the job, and how he associates with those that have a deeper financial background.
  • Digital, and his vision for it within the company, including the Predix platform
  • Succession and career planning within GE
  • How he has organized his first few months within the role of CIO
  • Security and how data is secured within GE

Cynthia Earhart, Chief Financial Officer of Norfolk Southern

In this interview, Cynthia Earhart discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, World Class IT Principle Three, Project and Portfolio Management, World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, and World Class IT Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Cynthia’s accounting and HR background prior to IT, how she found her way into IT, and how her new role represents the culmination of her skills and experiences
  • The myriad ways that Cynthia’s experience as a CIO will help her succeed as a CFO
  • Cynthia’s perspective on the CIO-CFO relationship, given her exposure to both sides
  • The value that IT delivers to Norfolk Southern
  • How the company drives itself to innovate, despite being in an industry with a high barrier to entry
  • Cynthia’s strategy going forward, as compared to that of her predecessor
  • The gains women have made in senior IT and finance positions

Bill Krivoshik, Chief Information Officer of Marsh & McLennan

In this interview, Bill Krivoshik discusses three principles of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • The rationale for establishing the corporate CIO position at Marsh and McLennan Companies, which now oversees MMC’s substantially sized five operating companies
  • How coordinating the agendas of the five operating companies’ CIOs has enabled MMC to consolidate data centers, leverage vendor relationships, enable knowledge management and cooperation across the horizontal structure, as well as avoid double work on application development
  • The delicate balance that a corporate CIO with a centralized IT department must maintain between leveraging scale and the risk of destroying advantages from having technology that is close to the unique businesses and their customers
  • How lowering technology spend on operational costs should go both towards the bottom line and towards building technologies that will provide competitive advantages
  • The evolving role of the CIO and how the possession of business acumen will differentiate those that aim to succeed through good and bad financial times

Dave Smoley, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Flextronics International

In this interview, Dave Smoley discusses two principles of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • Using technology to enable people to work better and to make smarter and faster decisions
  • How cost-cutting needs to become part of IT’s culture in order to be effective
  • Standardizing core tools to drive low costs
  • How mature IT organizations eventually move toward a lean model
  • The value of having business unit IT leads with domain expertise

Duane Anderson, Chief Information Officer of Marquette Group and USMotivation

In this interview, Duane Anderson discusses three principles of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • The key insights garnered as a new CIO
  • The process of acclimating yourself to a new role
  • The role an IT department plays for a company that relies on data gathering, synthesizing, and reporting
  • The crucial role IT’s responsibility for infrastructure plays in acquisitive companies
  • How in order to cut costs during the economic malaise, he categorized IT investment into three majors categories: utility expenses, maintenance capital, and new development/capabilities
  • The evolving profile of successful IT associates and how many are coming from areas of study outside computer engineering backgrounds

Joey Miller, Vice-President of Information Technology of Magna International

In this interview, Joey Miller discusses three principles of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • How a large corporation manages its structure when it is diverse both geographically and in its products and services
  • The need for multi-tiered governance in a multinational corporation that not only allows for flexibility to meet unique needs, but also provides the platform to leverage an extensive network of knowledge
  • The importance of synchronizing high level functions to ensure optimization of resources and to ignite improved performance
  • How a multinational corporation can remain connected and on the same page through the use of technology
  • How a fee-for-service IT billing system encourages the marriage of IT and business executives in planning and cost reductions

Rob Tabb, VP and CIO of Ecolab

Among other topics, Rob discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy

  • The difficult process of turning strategic objectives into actionable steps
  • The process of turning IT staff into internal business consultants
  • The advantages of consolidating outsourcing vendors
  • Using proven methodologies to reduce costs and improve quality
  • The role of IT in facilitating international growth