Forum on World Class IT - 363 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

Jay Brodsky, Chief Information Officer of the Atlantic Media Company

In this interview, Jay Brodsky discusses principle 4 of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • The unique dynamics of being a CIO at a media company
  • How to structure an IT department responsible for similar sub-divisions with very different needs
  • The way in which the role of CIO must straddle an IT position and a business position and the necessity of IT leaders to work with the business to translate their needs into IT reality
  • The wealth of opportunities and challenges that the internet and social media have presented to a traditional magazine, which has needed to be agile in staying relevant
  • The way in which Atlantic Media has tried to stay in touch with its customers amid a world of Google-filtered searches and other competition
  • The excitement around cloud computing and the possibilities it holds for the future of IT

Brook Colangelo, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In this interview, Brook Colangelo, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, an educational and trade publisher, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His transition from CIO role at the White House to his current role
  • Steps he took to prepare for his new job
  • How he focused on “meta-listening” to identify problems and achieve results in his first 100 days
  • His philosophy to focus on customer and user experience first and then designing the technology behind it
  • Eye on the Trends: Education and the ways to enable and adapt to the learning process as the next frontier in technological innovation

Serge Leduc, CIO of Canadian National

In this interview, Serge Leduc, CIO of Canadian National, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle two, Infrastructure with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His role at Canadian National and his technology plans
  • How he thinks about data integration with the large network he has built amongst customers and vendors
  • How his organization has thought about the Internet of Things and how to bring that trend to life
  • How he rose to the role of CIO in a new industry
  • His past experience at consulting firms and British American Tobacco and methods he has transferred from those roles
  • How he has attracted and retained talent at Canadian National to stay up-to-date on technology
  • Eye on the Trends: Predictive Analytics and the Internet of Things

Cynthia Stoddard, SVP and CIO of Netapp

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

  • Her organization, Netapp, the significant transformation it is undergoing, and IT’s role in that transformation
  • How her organization uses its own products and the advantages of being a CIO in an organization that serves IT departments
  • The way that she and her team engages with Netapp’s customer base
  • IT’s role in innovation at Netapp
  • The methods used to track and retain excellent IT talent
  • Her career path and areas of commonality between IT departments in different industries
  • The strengths of younger employees of the organization and the talent they bring to the organization
  • Eye on the Trends: Cloud infrastructure, the Digitization of Business

Eric Yuan, CEO, Zoom

In this interview, Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure, World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, and World Class IT Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

• Differentiation in the web conferencing space
• Differentiation in the web conferencing space
• Rationale behind deliberately controlling growth of Zoom in early days
• Importance of having a company philosophy to deliver happiness to customers
• Possibilities of Augmented Reality in the business world
• Impact of Silicon Valley on new and upcoming companies
• The need to create a culture of self-motivation for employees
• Trade-offs required to build a sustainable company
• Hybrid approach to selling to Small Businesses and Large Enterprises
• Focus on existing customers rather than only pursuing new customers
• Sequoia Capital’s impact on Zoom’s growth

Mark Jeffery, Director of Technology Initiatives in the Center for Research on Technology and Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management and Managing Partner of Agile Insights LLC

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

  • The way in which marketing, data, analytics, and information technology are all related and the need to determine the Return on Marketing Investment from that relationship
  • The necessity to focus on data-driven marketing in order to gain visibility into customer preferences, provide hard data to a traditionally “soft” division, and truly expose the ROI of marketing
  • The fifteen metrics that he explains will allow the measurement of marketing, including 10 classical metrics and five “new-age” marketing metrics
  • The lengthy process that he conducted in determining these metrics, accompanied by excellent case examples of companies that have leveraged data-driven marketing to increase their revenue and strengthen their customer base
  • How it is an absolute necessity for Marketing to partner not just with Finance, but also with IT in order to build out capabilities to capture the metrics that will demonstrate an ROI for marketing
  • The obstacles that companies face when considering data-driven marketing, and how, due to its relative infrequent use, can become a competitive advantage within an industry

Cathy Bessant, Global Technology and Operations Executive of Bank of America

In this interview, Cathy Bessant, Group Technology and Operations executive at Bank of America, the second largest bank holding company in the US by assets, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle four, IT & Business Partnership, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How she manages multiple CIOs and senior IT executives that report to her
  • Reducing spending should not equate to under-spending, which curtails growth
  • The shifting away of focus on deeply technical and engineering backgrounds for IT executives at large corporations
  • The complementary roles of chief marketing officer and IT executives
  • How board work can be a valuable training for executives to rise within their own organizations
  • Eye on the Trends:It is a hard time for the banking industry in general, and firms like BOA will continue to reduce risk, integrate acquisitions, and decrease operating costs through superior IT

Martha Poulter, CIO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

In this interview, Martha Poulter, Executive Vice President and CIO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, 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:

  • Her role and vision for the IT organization at Starwood
  • The way in which the IT team gets involved in the customer experience
  • How her experiences as a customer of Starwood colors her experience to developing internal plans
  • How she divided her time during her first 100 days as she came on-board at Starwood
  • Some of the early plans Martha had for the organization and how she sees those plans moving forward into the future
  • IT’s role from an innovation perspective and how they organize around those activities
  • How her tenure at GE Capital helped her transition to Starwood
  • Eye on the Trends: Data as an asset, computing miniaturization – mobile, wearables, etc, and the Internet of Things

Amy Doherty, CIO of AARP

In this interview, Amy Doherty, CIO of AARP, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle two, Infrastructure, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Her role as Chief Information Office of the AARP, and how he transitioned from the interim CIO role
  • Continuity during the transition of CIOs
  • Leadership and her approach to culture within IT
  • Communication within and outside of IT and the value inherent from improved communications
  • Innovation and how it is encouraged within IT
  • Security and how risk is managed across the enterprise
  • Women in IT and how she has helped improve opportunities for rising women in technology
  • Eye on the Trends: Cohesive user experiences, wearable technology, and autonomous vehicles

Tom Miller, CIO of Anthem

In this interview, Tom Miller, CIO of Anthem, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People and Principle Four, IT-Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Transferring knowledge and leadership skills across departments and industries
  • Operating from a master plan to increase agility and support success
  • The importance of customer-centricity both internally and externally
  • Digital trends in healthcare
  • The creation, design, and staffing of Anthem’s Innovation Studio
  • Encouraging innovation and creating value by balancing freedom and a rigorous methodology
  • Eye on the Trends: The empowered consumer, Cognitive computing, Genomics