Forum on World Class IT - 316 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: Culture

Bob Willett, Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy International

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

  • The critical role of technology in a multifaceted, geographically dispersed business as the key agent of change
  • The emerging trend of more CEOs coming from a CIO career path
  • The benefits to CEOs of involving their CIOs in all strategic decisions
  • How Best Buy uses Business Information Officers, which are evaluated on their respective businesses, rather than Information Technology Officers
  • The value of software residing in how it is used, rather than in what software is used
  • The importance of cultural fit when working with an external partner to provide value to the customer

Lyn McDermid, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Dominion Resources

In this interview, Lyn McDermid, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Dominion Resources, a $14 billion electric utility, 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 a long tenured CIO can focus on the long-term
  • Using analogous industries for inspiration
  • Overcoming common cultural and communication challenges in IT
  • Enabling the “Smart Grid” through IT
  • Eye on the trends: Enabling the mobile user experience, and building a trusting relationship with customers through more proactive and intuitive customer relationship technology

Michael Lucas, Global Chief Information Officer of Hogan Lovells

In this interview, Mike Lucas, Global Chief Information Officer of Hogan Lovells, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The steps he took to prepare for the Global CIO job at Hogan Lovells
  • The most important processes or technologies implemented within the first “100 days” on the job
  • Movement towards the role of “global” CIO, and the implications this position will have for firms in the future
  • Defining the parameters of success from an IT standpoint in a global organization
  • Eye on the Trends: The growing importance of IT services in the legal field – enabling remote working capabilities for lawyers and protecting client data

Bill Bradley, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of CenturyLink

In this interview, Bill Bradley, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of CenturyLink, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People and Principle Four, IT-Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His organization, CenturyLink, and his role within the organization
  • His multi-decade tenure at the organization, and how IT’s contribution to the organization has changed over that period of time
  • How IT recruits individuals from other parts of the organization, and the rotational program that exists within CenturyLink
  • Innovation, the role that IT plays in innovation, and the methods of innovation within the organization
  • The on-demand resource model within IT, and the rationale behind the model
  • Growth through acquisition, and the role that IT plays in M&A at CenturyLink
  • The importance of gaining knowledge of the business, rather than just the technology
  • Eye on the Trends: Mobile-first mentality, services approach to architecture, Agile methodologies, and analytics

Baljit Dail, CEO of JDA Software

In this interview, Baljit Dail, CEO of JDA Software, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People; Principle Two, Infrastructure; and Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Importance of cross-functional team work to figure out product offerings
  • Continually improving talent management and building people skills
  • Importance of technology to drive strategic decisions
  • Staying abreast of the competitive landscape
  • Importance of investments in R&D towards developing more integrations
  • Traditional brick and mortar retails versus digital natives
  • Eye on the Trends: Talent Management; Integration Platform; Supply Chain Solutions

Julia Davis, Senior Vice President and the Chief Information Officer of Aflac

In this interview, Julia Davis, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Using technology to improve the customer experience in the insurance space
  • Aflac’s Apprenticeship Program
  • Strategies for attracting younger team members
  • The workplace of the future
  • Utilizing metrics to improve employee and customer satisfaction
  • Eyes on the trends: big data and artificial intelligence

Carl Ascenzo, Former SVP & CIO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA; Principle Consultant at Ascention Consulting

In this interview, Carl Ascenzo discusses principle five of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • Customer orientation as a key skill for anyone working in IT
  • The importance of pursuing vendor management
  • How to structure, build, and run a vendor management office
  • The importance of cultural fit when choosing strategic vendors
  • How getting the lowest price from a vendor may not always be in a company’s best interest

Dan Fallon, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Navistar

In this interview, Dan Fallon, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Navistar, a $14 billion truck and engine manufacturer, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Dan’s role in facilitating how technology is leveraged within IT and across the business
  • IT’s broad view of the business enabling IT to see opportunities for integration
  • The demarcation between business strategy and IT strategy
  • How the culture of collaboration acts as a foundation for a culture of innovation
  • Eye on the trends: IT teaming with the business to achieve specific results through Centers of Excellence, the consumerization of IT and how it has helped accelerate the advancement of IT, location-based services and how it ties to Big Data, and the use of bio-informatics

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.

Tom Reilly, CEO of Cloudera

In this interview, Tom Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of Cloudera, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People and Principle Four, IT-Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His organization, Cloudera, where it stands now, and the current priorities at Cloudera
  • The path to success for older organizations with large antiquated infrastructures and for Digital-native organizations
  • Industries that Cloudera is working with the most
  • How Cloudera maintains its competitive advantages
  • How he came to be at Cloudera after the founding of the organization
  • The way in which he has forged a strong relationship with the founders of the organization
  • How the organization thinks about remaining a private company compared to going public
  • The team at Cloudera and the methods he uses to build and retain the team
  • How he thinks about strategic planning and how the organization continues to pivot
  • The relationships that have been built with several MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses)
  • Some industry-specific use cases