Forum on World Class IT - 285 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

Mike Kistner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pegasus Solutions

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

  • How a recession presents opportunities to provoke more change with less resistance
  • The need to reassess reengineered processes in order to constantly stay relevant
  • How the path of CIO to CEO will continue to become a more popular trend
  • The importance of balance between business acumen and IT prowess for IT personnel
  • How including vendors and customers in the technology roadmap can help improve product development

Sebastian Thrun, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Udacity

In this interview, Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Udacity, a for-profit education company offering MOOCs, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, principle five, External Partnership, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The motivations and influences in launching the Udacity project
  • How Udacity aims to solve the real problem of “access” to higher education
  • The competitive landscape and business strategy for Udacity and other MOOCs
  • The metrics used to assess Udacity’s performance
  • Eye on the Trends: MOOCs will complement as opposed to replace the traditional university learning, which provides a fundamentally different experience to students

Bob Fecteau, CIO of SAIC

In this interview, Bob Fecteau, CIO of SAIC, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • What SAIC does and what IT’s role is in the organization
  • How he can act as an empathetic advisor to his customer organizations as a client of the products themselves
  • The methods involved in how he empowers the workforce to improve efficiency
  • The way in which he organizes himself with all the change that has occurred recently, as a new hire at an organization now undergoing a split
  • How he thinks about balancing the risk of fast-moving innovation with the potential for finding new opportunities with innovative ideas
  • Eye on the Trends: SaaS, and the security of cloud platforms, the Internet of Things

Yasir Anwar, Senior VP, Head of Digital Technology, Macy’s

In this interview, Yasir Anwar, Senior VP, Head of Digital, Macy’s, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle two, Infrastructure, and principle three, Project & Portfolio Management, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Working across internal departments and with external partners to reach customer-centric goals
  • Advantages Macy’s has as a long-standing brand vs. competition from digital native organizations
  • Digital development to create the “omni customer” experience
  • Restructuring of the organization based on the customer’s journey—the use of “domains”
  • Macy’s Labs and the focus on entrepreneurship within the larger organization
  • Talent attraction

Mike Nelson, Former SVP and Interim CIO at Sabre Holdings

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

  • The process of outsourcing one of the world’s largest distribution systems
  • The major challenges of outsourcing, including a loss in flexibility
  • Overcoming the “us” vs. “them” mentality with outsourcers
  • Creating a solid post-outsourcing culture
  • The fundamental importance of senior executive support for outsourcing initiatives

Rob Lux, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer of Freddie Mac

In this interview, Rob Lux, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Freddie Mac, a public government sponsored enterprise , discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle two, Infrastructure, and principle five, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Rob’s team’s role in helping Freddie Mac recover from the economic downturn
  • How Freddie Mac approached Walmart, Visa, and other private sector firms for data management advice
  • The external benchmarks and KPIs used at Freddie Mac
  • The work culture at Freddie Mac, including IT innovation competition and bring-your-own-devise policy for employees
  • Eye on the Trends: Organizations in the mortgage industry like Freddie Mac are aggressively leveraging big data for predictive analytics and investing in technology to simplify and enable mobile mortgage transactions

Peretz Lavie, President of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

In this interview, Peretz Lavie, President of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The Technion’s mission and its role in driving entrepreneurship and engineering success in Israel
  • The innate entrepreneurial nature of Israelis as an immigrant nation and their unique geo-political context
  • What degree entrepreneurship can be taught to students, and what innate traits future entrepreneurs bring with them to the Technion
  • How alumni contribute in the classroom and providing business opportunities to Technion students
  • The Technion’s successful partnership with Cornell University to establish the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in New York City and the contribution of JTCI to the city
  • Faculty’s involvement in the companies that Technion’s students develop, and how the Technion financially encourages faculty’s start-ups
  • Lavie’s own research on sleep and an individual’s peak creativity and alertness
  • Eye on the Trends: Nanotechnology’s role in monitoring health and automatic translations capacity to globalize education

Michael Baresich, CIO of Ally Financial Inc

This is one in a series of interviews with financial services CIOs conducted in collaboration with CIO Straight Talk magazine. Read additional articles by other technology executives at www.straighttalkonline.com.

    In this interview, Michael Baresich, CIO of Ally Financial Inc, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People; Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships; and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Importance of cross-functional team work to figure out product offerings
    • Keeping an eye out at various human interface platforms to integrate
    • Being involved with external partners to understand technology landscape
    • Incorporating technologies that serve the 21st century consumer
    • Glimpse into the importance of how IT affects decisions requiring acquisitions of companies
    • Strategic importance of being involved in Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley
    • Eye on the Trends: Human Machine Interface; Blockchain; Digital Assistants

    Mukul Kumar, Managing Director of the IT Practice at the Corporate Executive Board

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

    • The next generation of opportunities for transformational change
    • What makes effective senior leaders, in IT as well as the business
    • The fundamental importance of culture, and its effect on employee engagement
    • IT’s changing role in an economic downturn: IT’s primary responsibility is no longer internal cost cutting
    • Infrastructure’s role as a company’s productivity toolkit

    Tracey Rothenberger, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ricoh Americas Corporation

    In this interview, Tracey Rothenberger, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ricoh Americas Corporation, a multinational imaging and electronics company, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT & Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • The role and evolution of the role of CIOs and COOs
    • The advantages gained as a C-level executive from having a CIOs perspective
    • The importance of strategy to being a successful leader
    • The role of social media both internally and externally in a company
    • Eye on the Trends:The growth of smartphones and tablets and their impact on augmented reality’s presence and power in marketing