Forum on World Class IT - 354 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

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

Dr. Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS Institute

In this interview, Dr. Jim Goodnight, Co-creator of SAS Software and CEO of SAS Institute, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The creation of SAS Software
  • The founding of the SAS Institute
  • The unique culture at the SAS Institute
  • Eye on the Trends: Analytics, although a field that has been in existence for many years, is growing in importance as the focus on processing larger volumes of data faster becomes even more central to a company’s strategic growth.

Michael Baresich, Chief Information Officer of Ally Financial

In this interview, Michael Baresich, Chief Information Officer at Ally Financial, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People and Principle Four, IT-Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His company, Ally Financial
  • How his organization transitioned from 70% government ownership, and the role IT played in that transition
  • The culture of the organization
  • Metrics used to gauge progress during his initial time at the organization
  • How he maintained the balance of IT activities needed for growth with cost-cutting in the wake of the recession
  • Digital, and how he partners with other parts of the organization from a digital perspective
  • The extent to which he has in-sourced some IT activities and how he set the organization on that path
  • His strategy and priorities for the future
  • The skill inventory of the organization and how he builds out the skills needed within his team
  • The process he uses to ensure that his team is up to date on new technologies
  • Eye on the Trends: Existing consumer technology being optimized for enterprise uses

Rob Alexander, CIO of Capital One

In this interview, Rob Alexander, CIO of Capital One, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, Principle Two, Infrastructure, Principle Three, Project & Portfolio Management, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Rob’s preview as CIO of Capital One, and his untraditional IT background
  • How the organization has adopted agile development, as well as the agile mindset
  • The IT department’s implementation of Dev Ops, and how they measure its effectiveness
  • Using technology and organizational best practices to facilitate collaboration
  • The company’s digital transformation, and the importance of understanding and positioning for disruptive change
  • Competing with as well as partnering with Fin Tech startups, tapping into innovation ecosystems, and how Capital One leverages the advantages of its scale
  • Some of the forward-looking products Capital One is developing for its customers

General Stanley McChrystal (Retired), Managing Partner at McChrystal Group, Former Commander Joint Special Operations Command

In this interview, General Stan McChyrstal (Ret.) Managing Partner at McChrystal Group and Former Commander Joint Special Operations Command , discusses World Class IT Principle One, People. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The connections between the speed of change, agility, and decision making
  • Recognizing that you can be technically and tactically correct, and still be functionally incorrect
  • The benefits gained from decentralization, pumping information down the organization, and harnessing insights from younger, less experienced team members
  • Building an organizational structure of organically connected small cohesive teams
  • Creating a mandate for necessary change in organizations that are comfortable with their status quo
  • The General’s upcoming book on leadership which explores the metrics of leadership

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