Forum on World Class IT - 307 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: Customer Focused IT

Aaron Levie, CEO and Co-Founder of Box

In this interview, Aaron Levie, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Box, a leader in online file sharing and cloud content management, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle two, Infrastructure, and principle five, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Themes of the upcoming BoxWorks conference
  • Box’s ability to attract and retain top talent from other IT firms
  • Box’s focus on delivering enterprise IT solutions through a consumer IT approach
  • Eye on the Trends: Yesterday’s competitors are becoming today’s partners in IT. As consumers and enterprises demand more flexibility, connectivity, and functionality often from the same device, different solutions providers have to collaborate

Celso Guiotoko, Alliance Global VP, Corporate VP, and CIO of Renault-Nissan

In this interview, Celso Guiotoko, Alliance Global VP, Corporate Vice President, and CIO of Renault-Nissan, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His areas of responsibility at Renault/Nissan
  • Leadership characteristics underneath Celso (decentralized v. centralized) for Nissan and Renault respectively
  • Best and Vitesse programs at Renault Nissan
  • Technology changing the way in which consumers are likely to experience driving in their car
  • The future of autonomous automobiles
  • How IT and the engineering/research areas work together
  • Eye on the Trends: 3D modeling, and the internet of things in the manufacturing/production line

Roger Gurnani, Chief Information and Technology Architect of Verizon Communications

In this interview, Roger Gurnani, Chief Information and Technology Architect of Verizon Communications, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle two, Infrastructure. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • What his title of Chief Information and Technology Architect encompasses
  • His strategic imperatives that he and his team are pursuing
  • The digital revolution and how he has handled the pace of change within the organization
  • ThinkSpace and the Internet of Things within Verizon
  • His career path and his experience within multiple areas of Verizon’s large organization
  • How talent management is undertaken at the organization
  • Eye on the Trends: Digital, Cloud Technology, 5G Wireless Technology

Terry West, SVP and CIO, Performance Food Group

In this interview, Terry West, Senior Vice President and CIO of the Performance Food Group, discusses World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure and Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The hybrid model of IT organization at Performance Food Group
  • PFG’s transformation from a private equity owned company to going public
  • How IT prepared PFG to meet compliance regulations and go public
  • Simplifying and standardizing business processes and systems
  • Using technology to enhance the customer experience
  • Eye on the trends: Internet of Things, cloud services, analytics

Abbie Lundberg, President of Lundberg Media

In this interview, Abbie Lundberg discusses principle four of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • The “CIO’s Dilemma” of competing demands to be agile and innovative, while being responsible for cost cutting
  • Cloud computing and how the concept of making businesses more agile is a great opportunity for IT
  • How CIOs are increasingly focusing on the external customer, whether that be through business intelligence or directly customer facing applications
  • The evolution of the role of the CIO in the years ahead
  • The necessity to “get one’s house in order” in order to first develop credibility with business partners before earning the trust necessary for a seat at the strategy setting table
  • The importance of not only CIOs, but all IT executives that interface with business partners to be able to communicate effectively

Kevin Hart, EVP and CTO of Cox Communications

In this interview, Kevin Hart, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Cox Communications, the third-largest cable entertainment and broadband services provider in the country, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle three, Project and Portfolio, and principle four, IT & Business Partnership, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The uniqueness of his role at CTO at Cox
  • His first 100 days plan for his CTO role
  • How he has implemented a faster pace of innovation within technology at Cox, in order to compete within the rapidly-evolving video entertainment market
  • Eye on the Trends: Aligning IT initiatives with overall business goals at firms through evolving roles of the CIOs and CTO, and the steps Ken has undertaken to institutionalize formalized training programs such as CIO University

Christopher Hjelm, Senior VP, CIO for The Kroger Co.

In this interview, Christopher Hjelm, Senior VP, CIO for The Kroger Co., discusses World Class IT principle two, infrastructure, and principle four, IT & business partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His role at Kroger
  • How his team manages to interact with customers and vendors within this industry
  • Innovation in self-service and customers’ adoption of and interaction with developments in technology
  • His experience as a board member on Kindred Healthcare, Inc. and Rehabcare Group, Inc., among others
  • Eye on the Trends: open sourcing of technology to increase productivity and increasing data analytics

Ron Ross, Fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology

In this interview, Ron Ross, Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, discusses World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His organization, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and his role within it
  • The paradigm shift in the complexity of technology and our ability to protect it
  • How the Internet of Things complicates the security problems already in place
  • NIST’s publication – Systems Security Engineering: An Integrated Approach to Building Trustworthy Resilient Systems
  • Who NIST engages for their publications and how they engage with their partners
  • TACIT Security – Threats, Assets, Complexity, Integration, and Trustworthiness
  • How people-centric security problems can be better addressed
  • The role that business continuity and disaster recovery plans play in security
  • Building security into systems to increase the level of confidence in systems

Mark Settle, CIO of Okta

In this interview, Mark Settle, CIO of Okta, discusses his book, The Truth From the Trenches: A Practical Guide to the Art of IT Management. He also discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, Principle Three, Project and Portfolio Management, Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The nuances between the role of leadership and management
  • Importance of financial management to help drive innovation within IT
  • A need for IT to be involved with business partners beyond transactional relationships
  • Demand management from the business partners to meet IT’s capacity
  • Strategic techniques of attracting and retaining talent in Silicon Valley
  • The importance of innovation labs to gather feedback from the broader organization
  • Significance of how IT affects relationships with customers
  • Eye on the Trends: Agile Methodology, DevOps, Integrations

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