Forum on World Class IT - 342 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: IT-Business Communication

Bruce Parker, Former Chief Executive Officer of AirNet Systems and Managing Director of IT Management Group

In this interview, Bruce Parker discusses three of the five principle of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • How a good CIO is well prepared to become a good CEO
  • Gaining the business’ trust in order to align and innovate
  • The keys to building successful relationships with external partners
  • How to build international teams and to expand into different regions with diverse cultures

Torsten Wenell, Lecturer and a Member of the IT Management Research Team at The IT University in Gothenburg, Sweden

In this interview, Torsten Wenell discusses three of the five principle of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • The importance of customer segmentation for in-house IT departments
  • The three levels of IT decision making
  • Sweden’s position as a leader and innovator in technology
  • Business units as the real cost driver for IT
  • The possibility that the business may not need to understand where IT costs come from as long as IT delivers what is required

Jay Vijayan, Vice President, IT & Business Applications of Tesla Motors

In this interview, Jay Vijayan, the Vice President of IT and Business Applications of Tesla Motors, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Jay’s role at Tesla Motors and how Tesla operates in a fast-paced, innovative environment
  • IT’s collaborative relationship with development teams
  • How all of Tesla’s business-critical applications for core functions are home-grown
  • How Tesla provides comprehensive customer experience through the use of analytics, mobile applications, and more
  • Eye on the Trends: Cloud computing, and how it provides more flexibility and allows the organization to easily manage, maintain, and provision software to employees, particularly as the organization grows

Anant Agarwal, President of edX

In this interview, Anant Agarwal, President of edX, a prominent MOOC, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The genesis of the idea behind edX
  • Four aspects that make edX different from the other MOOCs
  • How edX benefits both its university partners and other universities unaffiliated with edX
  • edX’s KPIs
  • edX’s new strategic forays in to content for Advanced Placement (AP) tests and corporate training
  • Eye on the Trends: Increasing focus on research at MOOC-partner universities, blended courses at universities that combine online and traditional learning

Stewart McCutcheon, EVP and CIO of Ecolab, Inc.

In this interview, Stewart McCutcheon, CIO of Ecolab, Inc., discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle three, Project and Portfolio Management, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The imperative of the IT organization’s strategy to look to become a source of competitive advantage for global organizations in the future
  • The various ways in which Stewart has built cross-functional capabilities to pull knowledge from the disparate functions of R&D, IT, and business, in a way that enables a greater understanding of the organization’s needs.
  • The important yet difficult conundrum of “build” versus “buy” in a global information technology organization, and the strategic importance of customization of systems and processes in creating competitive advantage
  • The challenges and opportunities Stewart identified when serving as the lead integrator of two merging companies with distinctive cultures and processes
  • Stewart’s unique promotion to CIO from the company acquired in a merger, and potential reasons behind the decision
  • Eye on the Trends: The success of high intensity, goal-oriented task forces formed to improve flawed processes, the growing trend of the CIO having core competency as a business person more so than a technologist

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

Susan Swart, CIO, International Monetary Fund

In this interview, Susan Swart, CIO of the International Monetary Fund, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Organization of the IT department given the broad purview of the IMF
  • Sought-after skills and qualities of IT team members
  • Creating a new ecosystem with the engagement of new partners
  • Her path as an executive and advice for women in the field
  • Mentoring programs and the importance of increasing the pool of potential female hires
  • Eye on the trends: AI in surveillance and natural language processing, Fintech, block chain

Stephen Gillett, Stephen Gillett, Co-Founder and CEO of Chronicle

In this interview, Peter High and Stephen Gillett discuss World Class IT Principle One, People, Principle Two, Infrastructure, and Principle Four, IT and Business Partnership. Among the other topics they discuss include:

  • Stephen’s transition from Symantec to Google/Alphabet, including how his original role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at GV led to his work with their moonshot factory, X
  • X’s process for identifying which moonshots to pursue, which include (1) addressing a huge problem, (2) employing a radical solution, and (3) using relatively feasible technology
  • Stephen’s ambition to work on an ambitious enterprise security project, and how that led to a cybersecurity project within X that resulted in Chronicle
  • A high level overview of Chronicle, which will offer an intelligence and analytics platform to help enterprises manage their own security-related data, and a malware intelligence service
  • The benefits of being an Alphabet company, including the ability to leverage Google’s infrastructure and machine learning expertise, their ability to attract talent, and the credibility they have with potential customers
  • Stephen’s diverse career and how that prepared him to be a CEO, such as honing the ability to see things from a holistic perspective, which is one of the advantages IT has over many other functions within an organization
  • Stephen’s perspective on digital, having been one of the first executive to carry the digital title, such as how digital can be applied to internal operations as well as to the customer experience

Darko Hrelic, CIO of Gartner Inc

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

  • The difficulty in finding skills and talent that meet the challenges of tomorrow as well as those of yesterday
  • How quickly technology expectations are changing: “email is legacy”
  • The need for IT/Business alignment, if IT does not want to become irrelevant
  • The importance of depth of knowledge rather than breadth of knowledge

Charlie Feld (Special Series Part 2 of 2), CEO of The Feld Group

In this special series part 2 interview, Charlie Feld, Founder and CEO of The Feld Group, an IT leadership development firm, discusses principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His book, Blind Spot IT, and his framework for IT-lead business transformation: Why, What, How, and Who?
  • Change management within IT and the broader scope of a business
  • The imperative of the CIO to proactively advocate for IT’s value contribution
  • Eye on the trends: The ability to create a “fabric of integration” that allows IT departments to react to an event and integrate in motion and in memory, without the contingency of ripping out and replacing legacy systems