Forum on World Class IT - 367 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 Metrics

John Boushy, World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, eSeminar with John Boushy, Former CEO of Ameristar Casinos, and Former CIO of Harrah’s Entertainment

This interview is the fourth in a special series of five eSeminars covering the Five Principles of World Class IT. The five interviews will be broadcast in sequential weeks, and in this conversation on P5-IT and Business Partnerships, John Boushy discusses the following ideas:

  • His advice for CIOs who wish to establish stronger ties with the business, and potentially follow in his footsteps to become the CEO of a major corporation
  • His thoughts on the vicissitudes of the CIO role in an era where business leaders are becoming more IT savvy
  • Changing the culture of the IT department to deliver value and calculate that value using business terms (ROI, NPV, IRR, etc.), as well as pushing for total cost of ownership (TCO) evaluations for all projects
  • John’s thoughts about whether we will see more CIOs emerging from the business rather that growing up through IT

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

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

Peter High, World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs.

Peter High discusses his Book “World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs.” Some of the topics discussed include

  • Principles that the best information technology executives follow
  • Thoughts on how the principles work as a virtuous cycle, including how improved performance in one can lead to better performance in others
  • Introductory and advanced metrics related to each principle and associated sub-principles
  • Specific case examples that highlight each principle based on extensive work with leading CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, and other IT executives
  • Thoughts on other factors that separate leaders from laggards in information technology

Ramón Baez, VP of Information Services and CIO of Kimberly-Clark

In this interview, Ramón Baez discusses three principles of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • Using lean methodologies to simplify and improve internal IT processes
  • Providing high-potential employees with the same type of leadership development training that management receives
  • The advantages of embedding IT employees in the business to help with alignment
  • Creating a digital center of excellence that partners technology and marketing teams
  • The importance of frequently conducting management reviews, executive reviews, and operational reviews

Rob Dowler, Corporate Chief Strategist and Assistant Deputy Minister Responsible for Enterprise Information Technology Strategy, Policy and Planning, E-government, Controllership and Excellence/Education for the Province of Ontario

In this interview, Rob Dowler discusses three principles of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • How a federated IT structure allows the organization to act vertically within business units- or ministries- as well as horizontally across the government
  • The mature strategic planning process the Government of Ontario employs in order to ensure the efficient use of tax-payer money
  • How hosting an “internal consulting function” allows the organization to flexibly allocate permanent employees within the government based on project needs at “whole-sale” cost
  • The importance of maintaining metrics in order to ensure the organization stays on course
  • The shift in desired skills of future employees, and how those employees should be prepared to be “great enablers of public service delivery”

Piyush Singh, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Great American Insurance

In this interview, Piyush Singh, Chief Information Officer of Great American Insurance, discusses principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How he lead a complete revamp of the application architecture in order to leave all legacy systems in the past
  • His priorities around leveraging Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) in order to enable data to flow “automagically” throughout Great American’s systems and therefore streamline business processes
  • His “Big Five” guidelines for CIOs, which include:
  • The need to flip the ratio of 80% spend on maintenance and 20% on new development
  • The need to avoid correlation between age, tenure, and risk aversion
  • The importance of the CIO’s physical proximity to business executives in determining how strategic IT can be
  • The need to differentiate between creating a solution vs. an automation
  • How grading IT based on “on-time and on-budget” are the wrong signs of success
  • Eye on the trends: How the consumerization of IT has bled into business partner expectations and demand for IT

Vic Bhagat, Chief Information Officer Global Growth & Operations of General Electric

In this interview, Vic Bhagat, Chief Information Officer of General Electric’s Global Growth and Operations Organization discusses principle one, People, principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships, of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Vic’s role and IT enabling growth at GE
  • IT innovation at GE and the culture of innovation
  • Sharing global best practices while maintaining local relevance
  • The balance of innovation and security, risk management, and governance
  • GE’s “onshoring”/”smart-shoring” of IT domain knowledge
  • The future of the IT leader
  • IT metrics and the focus on business process improvement
  • Eye on the trends: Omnipresent information and the capability of sending IT solutions to anywhere at any time, hyper-intelligence and how analytics can bring the decision support system to a whole new level, and the need to give ample attention to the entire user experience in order to ensure stickiness

Brian Flynn, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Information Officer of Crawford & Company

In this interview, Brian Flynn, EVP and Global CIO of Crawford & Company, an insurance claims management company, and discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle three, Project & Portfolio Management, and principle four, IT and Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His top IT priorities to improve organizational agility
  • Using strong communication in driving culture change
  • Breaking the conceptual silos of IT and “the business”
  • Crawford IT’s leadership of an innovation program
  • The importance of measurement to prove results
  • Eye on the Trends: empowering mobility in all aspects of business, going paperless, yielding insights from analytics, enhancing processes through social media analytics, preparing for globalization, the evolution of culture change and embracing new ways of working, as well as the marriage of mapping out organizational business processes to drive innovation

Jay Ferro, Chief Information Officer of American Cancer Society

In this interview, Jay Ferro, Chief Information Officer of the American Cancer Society, a nationwide voluntary health organization, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, and principle four, IT and Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The specifics of his CIO role at American Cancer Society
  • The differences and similarities in managing IT at non-profit and the for-profit sectors
  • The critical role of IT in enabling functionality of a volunteer based organization like American Cancer Society
  • How Jay prepared and gathered his team around him to achieve early wins
  • Eye on the Trends:The increased role of technology and platforms like CRMs, mobile devices, and big data to improve operational and research performance of organizations like American Cancer Society