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: Innovation

Dan Fallon, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Navistar

In this interview, Dan Fallon, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Navistar, a $14 billion truck and engine manufacturer, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Dan’s role in facilitating how technology is leveraged within IT and across the business
  • IT’s broad view of the business enabling IT to see opportunities for integration
  • The demarcation between business strategy and IT strategy
  • How the culture of collaboration acts as a foundation for a culture of innovation
  • Eye on the trends: IT teaming with the business to achieve specific results through Centers of Excellence, the consumerization of IT and how it has helped accelerate the advancement of IT, location-based services and how it ties to Big Data, and the use of bio-informatics

John Hinshaw, Executive Vice President, Technology and Operations of Hewlett-Packard

In this interview, John Hinshaw, Executive Vice President of Technology & Operations of Hewlett-Packard, a $116 billion diversified technology company, and discusses World Class IT principle one, People,and principle four, IT and Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His unique purview of responsibilities as EVP of Technology & Operations
  • How he uses technology to impact P&Ls across business units
  • The unique culture and pace of innovation at HP
  • Planning and building great IT leadership teams
  • Eye on the Trends: the innovations that HP is making in a variety of exploding realms. He foresees an even larger growth of the use of mobile and social technologies, and talks about the advantages of smaller and cheaper data centers

Jean-Michel Ares, Group Head of Technology & Operations, BMO Financial Group

In this interview, Jean-Michel Ares, Group Head of Technology & Operations at BMO Financial Group, 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:

  • The imperative, at BMO Financial Group and within the broader financial services industry, to combine the functions of technology and operations under a single executive
  • Jean-Michel’s belief in the ability of leadership along the lines of operational excellence, transformation, and innovation to set every CIO on the path to greatness
  • The four outlined “areas of focus” for Jean-Michel’s team in the coming year
  • Jean-Michel’s renewed focus on enterprise security, as well as the important role of external partnerships and networks in securing an organization’s data and resources
  • The great opportunity of each CIO to build strong personal networks, later leveraging those networks to solve complex challenges faced by those within and external to their industry or role
  • Eye on the Trends: The combination of analytics, mobility, social networks, and the Internet of Things in shaping the new technological enterprise

Mark Dajani, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Mondelez International

In this interview, Mark Dajani, Chief Information Officer at Mondelez International, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle two, Infrastructure, Principle four, and IT & Business Partnerships, and Principle five, External Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Background on Mondelez International
  • His role as Chief Information Officer and his area of purview
  • The responsibility of processes in Mark’s CIO role and how he proactively added that role to his set of responsibilities
  • How he organizes his team
  • The external focus of IT and ways in which he has tuned his organization to be customer-centric
  • His views on Chief Digital Officers and how digital responsibility should be leveraged within an organization
  • The focus on innovation and how he ensures the innovation process at the organization
  • Some thoughts about how organizations can change their infrastructure to realize higher benefits
  • Ensuring a strong infrastructure floor to ensure that legacy technology doesn’t get in the way
  • How he manages change management to prepare the organization for new areas

Angela Duckworth, Author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

In this interview, Angela Duckworth, Author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The definition of “Grit” and how she had made it part of her life’s work
  • How passion is something that must be found and how it contributes to “Grit”
  • The development of the “Hard Thing Rule” and what that means
  • The traits of gritty people: interest, practice, purpose, and hope
  • Her background teaching math in NYC and how that influences her thoughts on “Grit”
  • Lessons for organizations that have formulated a gritty culture
  • How you should factor grittiness into recruiting
  • The Character Lab in Philadelphia that she runs, and its mission

Shamim Mohammad, SVP and CIO of CarMax

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

  • Online finance and home delivery as examples of digital transformation at CarMax
  • Co-location and product teams
  • Dev Ops’ role in innovation and execution
  • Product teams consist of individuals from across the company and are responsible for business outcomes
  • Open houses to showcase product teams’ work and current projects
  • Recruiting top IT talent for the digital transformation
  • “cloud first, mobile first” strategy
  • Key trends: block chain, machine learning, mobile, cloud

Nick Colisto, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Xylem

In this interview, Nick Colisto, CIO of Xylem, discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships and World Class IT Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Xylem’s transformative journey into a digital business
  • The advantages of evolving from individual systems to platforms
  • Xylem’s Integrated System IT platform that enables customer engagement, operating efficiency, and growth
  • Utilizing technology platforms to serve overall business priorities
  • Xylem’s Five Star Model
  • Methods for gaining insights from within and outside of the organization
  • Xylem’s five strategic priorities
  • The evolving organizational structure of IT
  • Eyes on the trends: IoT for the front office, Iot for the back office, managed services

Clay Johnson, Chief Information Officer of Walmart

In this interview, Clay Johnson 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:

  • How the unification of the back-office technology and shared services teams under Clay enables Walmart to operate more efficiently
  • The consumerization of IT, and how that drives Clay’s focus on providing intuitive digital tools that enhance the productivity of Walmart’s two million employees
  • The importance of having employees with the right skills and mindset in the right roles, and how Walmart ensures it has the proper skills mix
  • Clay’s three-pronged approach to gaining an understanding of the needs of Walmart’s business and its massive workforce, and how that informs project prioritization within his 10,000-person team
  • The four key elements to creating a healthy culture: transparency, encouraging healthy debate, empowering people to speak up, and celebrating failure
  • How the shift to a product model and end-to-end ownership has improved internal efficiency
  • Walmart’s network of innovation centers, and how they leverage the surrounding ecosystem of academic institutions and startups
  • The key lessons Clay has taken away from the various experiences across his career
  • Walmart’s approach to artificial intelligence and the tangible benefits they are seeing

Karl Ulrich, CIBC Professor of Entrepreneurship and e-Commerce at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

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

  • How despite its natural tie to creativity, innovation can be driven through structured processes, which he explains in his book, Innovation Tournaments
  • How the organizational structure, administration, and governance of innovation will be highly idiosyncratic to industry structure and firm dynamics
  • The differentiation between external and internal facing innovation, and how each type necessitates different attention
  • The five modes of the stage gate process that are crucial for new product development, and how to transition creative sparks into actionable opportunities
  • The five areas a manager should focus on to influence the culture of innovation: incentives and recognition, transparency of decision making, the physical arrangement of the workplace, the recruiting process, and the allowance for creative “slack time”
  • How measuring the success of innovation is, above all else, about creating economic value
  • The benefits and potential risks of engaging third parties in the innovation process- be it vendors or customers- and how the exercise of opening up innovation is only practical depending on the industry

Michael Skaff, Chief Information Officer of The San Francisco Symphony

In this interview, Michael Skaff, Chief Information Officer of The San Francisco Symphony, 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:

  • The San Francisco Symphony’s use of technology over its history and how it strives to stay on the cutting edge
  • The internal and external use of mobile, and how it ties into social networking
  • How employees’ passion for music has enabled innovation within the organization
  • The rise of business intelligence in non-profit organizations, and how it particularly helps organizations that sell tickets
  • Eye on the trends: Mobile technology and how it facilitates engagement with patrons, predictive analytics and its ability to help drive revenue, as well as social media and how it facilitates the social aspect of a naturally social experience