Forum on World Class IT - 346 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: Digital

Angela Yochem, CIO of Rent-A-Center

In this interview, Angela Yochem, CIO of Rent-A-Center, discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Executing Rent-A-Center’s digital transformation
  • CIOs driving business innovationt
  • Taking intelligent risks
  • The impact of a single decision across the enterprise
  • Keeping the end-customer at the front of the decision making process
  • Excelling in the First 100 Days
  • The two characteristics that board search committees are seeking in CIOs

    Methods for staying abreast of and understanding cutting edge technology

    Angela’s Entrepreneur as Residence experience

    Eyes on the trends: Fast prototyping and feedback, Artificial intelligence, STEM education

George Corbin, SVP of Digital at Marriott International

In this interview, George Corbin, Senior Vice President of Digital for Marriott International, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Marriott’s place among the highest revenue earners by a digital channel
  • The maturity curve and the challenge of disruption for incumbent companies
  • Advantages that incumbents have over startups in evolving industries
  • Disrupting your own organization
  • The millennial mindset that spans across multiple age demographics
  • Marriott’s transformation of the service experience
  • Leading and managing a transforming organization
  • The impact of Airbnb on the hospitality industry
  • Adapting across an organization to fundamental shifts in customers’ needs and expectations
  • The influence of culture and existing operating models on a company’s management of digital disruption
  • Marriott’s embracement of the localization of the travel experience
  • Characteristics of a successful Chief Digital Officer
  • Building alliances and coalitions to drive and support change
  • Using pilot programs to de-risk change for internal and external partners
  • Messaging as a service, not marketing

Linda Jojo, EVP of Technology and Chief Digital Officer of United Airlines

In this interview, Linda Jojo discusses World Class IT Principle Three, Project and Portfolio Management, and World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Linda’s expanded purview as Executive Vice President of Technology and Chief Digital Officer
  • United’s digital strategy, and how they use digital to enhance both the customer-facing experience as well as internal operations
  • Evolving customer expectations in the travel space
  • How Linda has seen the role of the CIO evolve during the past 10+ years
  • Linda’s view on the role of the Chief Digital Officer
  • Advice for CIOs who aspire to join corporate Boards
  • How United thinks about cyber risk, and how to have the conversation with the Board
  • The importance of machine learning for leveraging data across the company

Donagh Herlihy, EVP of Digital and CIO of Bloomin' Brands

In this interview, Donagh Herlihy, Executive Vice President of Digital and CIO of Bloomin’ Brands, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle five, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • A review of Bloomin Brands and its entities across the United States
  • His role and responsibilities as EVP of Digital
  • How he manages the digital team, managing digital separately from IT
  • The digital consumer journey and how he engages customers to find insights amongst customer groups
  • How he feels about CIOs undertaking the responsibility of “Digital” within an enterprise
  • How he has taken on additional responsibilities within the organization
  • How he encourages his IT team to translate consumer technology advances to enterprise technology change
  • Eye on the Trends: Improving consumer technology and the consumerization of IT

Taavi Kotka, former CIO of Estonia

In this interview, Taavi Kotka discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure, and World Class IT Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The conditions that enabled Estonia’s transformation into the world’s most advanced digital society
  • Taavi’s transition from CEO of one of the largest software development companies in the Baltic states to Estonian Government CIO, as well as some of the early projects he led
  • How blockchain technology can provide an extra layer of data security
  • How Estonia reduces friction for citizens by using regulation to encourage data sharing between government entities
  • The ways in which digital technology improves efficiency and simplifies life for Estonian citizens in areas such as healthcare, banking, taxes, education, voting, law enforcement, among others
  • How giving citizens control over their data creates a self-enforcing mechanism that protects privacy and provides security
  • The genesis of Estonia’s e-Residency program, and how it allows Estonia to grow its economy without relying on increased birth rates or immigration
  • Taavi’s view on the disruption of government and the future of digital society

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

Vince Campisi, Senior Vice President Digital and Chief Information Officer

In this interview, Vince discussed World Class IT Principle One, People; Principle Three, Project and Portfolio Management; Principle Four, Business and IT Partnerships; and Principle Five, External Partnerships, among other topics including:

  • How United Technologies approaches IT and digital in a way that maximizes synergies
  • How IT and digital are organized and governed within the organization
  • How United Technologies manages offensive and defensive capabilities
  • How United Technologies organizes its innovation functions into United Technologies Digital and United Technologies Research Center
  • United Technologies Digital Accelerator in Dumbo Brooklyn, how priorities are set, and the unique processes they employ
  • Vince’s perspective on the advantages of companies operating at scale, versus the advantages of a digitally native organization
  • How United Technologies manages cybersecurity risk as an increasing number of its products are connected to the IoT

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

Toomas Hendrick Ilves, Former President of Estonia

In this interview, President Ilves discussed World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure, and Principle Five, External Partnerships, among other topics including:

  • How President Ilves’ international upbringing shaped his worldview, including the influences of growing up bilingual, being a child of refugee parents, and learning to program at a young age
  • The role that President Ilves played in pushing the digitization narrative, both before he was President as part of the underground Communist resistance, as well as during his presidency
  • The impact that becoming a newly independent nation around the time that the internet was exploding had on Estonia’s ability to recognize the power of a digital society, and Estonia’s early digitization efforts such as e-identity and the X-Roads distributed architecture which was implemented in 2001
  • The collaboration required between the government, the private sector, and the public that was required to digitize the nation, why the private sector and general public have been more enthusiastic than the government due to the business efficiencies and personal conveniences, and how thee digital system is decoupled from politics in the mind of the Estonian people
  • Estonia’s cyber-war with Russia, which was the first of its kind, and how it resulted in the creation of the NATO Center for excellence in Cyber Security, which is located in Estonia
  • The features of Estonia’s e-residency program, such as being able to become an e-citizen and set up an online business registered in the European Union, and how that helps Estonia’s economy compensate despite its small geography and population
  • President Ilves’ focus since leaving office, including his academic focus on threats to democracy in the digital era, and work with other nations that are interesting in emulating Estonia’s digital society

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