Forum on World Class IT - 359 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: Mobile Workforce

Dee Waddell, Acting Chief Information Officer of Amtrak

In this interview, Dee Waddell, Acting Chief Information Officer of Amtrak, discusses World Class IT principle three, Project & Portfolio Management, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How Amtrak differs from other travel organizations
  • Amtrak’s new eTicketing initiative improves the customer experience and optimizes internal processes
  • Amtrak IT evolving to focus on the business and deliver business value
  • The recent development of a Project Management Office and an Enterprise Architecture Group
  • The creation of Amtrak’s corporate strategy through a series of working sessions and collaborative efforts
  • Eye on the Trends: Mobility and how it can drive innovations, cloud computing and the cost benefits it offers, as well as social media and collaboration technologies, and how they can help reduce silos within an organization

Cynthia Earhart, Chief Financial Officer of Norfolk Southern

In this interview, Cynthia Earhart discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, World Class IT Principle Three, Project and Portfolio Management, World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, and World Class IT Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Cynthia’s accounting and HR background prior to IT, how she found her way into IT, and how her new role represents the culmination of her skills and experiences
  • The myriad ways that Cynthia’s experience as a CIO will help her succeed as a CFO
  • Cynthia’s perspective on the CIO-CFO relationship, given her exposure to both sides
  • The value that IT delivers to Norfolk Southern
  • How the company drives itself to innovate, despite being in an industry with a high barrier to entry
  • Cynthia’s strategy going forward, as compared to that of her predecessor
  • The gains women have made in senior IT and finance positions

Rick King, Chief Operating Officer- Technology of Thomson Reuters

In this interview, Rick King, Chief Operating Officer of Technology of Thomson Reuters, 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:

  • Rick’s role of COO of Technology at Thomson Reuters
  • How Rick manages the tech footprint of IT at Thomson Reuters
  • How Rick applies lessons from his early experiences as a teacher and a coach to IT
  • The importance of creating a personal brand
  • Eye on the Trends: The advent of mobility, and how mobile devices will take over the traditional PC world

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

Adrian Gardner, Chief Information Officer of Goddard Space Flight Center

In this interview, Adrian Gardner, the Chief Information Officer of Goddard Space Flight Center, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Adrian’s role as CIO of Goddard Space Flight Center
  • The implementation of innovative practices through drawing from public, open source, and private sector communities
  • Cross-collaboration in IT, and how the various NASA centers operate in an environment that is both collaborative and competitive
  • How Goddard utilizes Big Data to support decision-making
  • Goddard’s security posture and the increased focus on data management
  • Eye on the Trends: Consumerization of IT and how consumers leverage a broad range of technologies and tailor them to their own individual needs, mobility and how individuals can have access to information from anywhere on any device, and the rise in open source and utilizing open source communities to develop and refine technologies.

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

Mike Kail, Vice President of IT Operations of Netflix

In this interview, Mike Kail, the Vice President of IT Operations of Netflix, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How IT needs to understand business strategy and align with other parts of the organization
  • The necessity of broader communications skills in IT
  • How Netflix attempts to remain on the bleeding edge of technology
  • How IT needs to adopt an “IT as a service” mentality and avoid saying no to customers
  • How the multitude of devices in the workplace leads to convergence of data to the cloud
  • Eye on the Trends: Social and mobile, and how they will enable seamless collaboration anytime at anyplace

Ken Piddington, Chief Information Officer of Global Partners LP

In this interview, Ken Piddington discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT-Business Partnerships, and Principle Five, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Global Partners IT’s transformation from an order taker to a strategic partner
  • The importance of communication in establishing credibility for IT and improving operations
  • The way in which IT is focusing on analytics in order to provide the company with a competitive advantage
  • The necessity to not only hold vendors to SLAs and manage them effectively in order to ensure you get what you pay for, but also the necessity to share the strategic vision with vendors so that they can more effectively operate on your behalf
  • How Global Partners IT engages external clients to build relationships
  • IT’s future role in mergers and acuquisition
  • Eye on the trends: The pros and cons of the hot trends of cloud computing, social media, and iPad in the enterprise

Ben Allen, Chief Information Officer and Chief Innovation Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies

In this interview, Ben Allen, the Chief Information Officer and Chief Innovation Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The advantages of having both the Chief Information Officer and Chief Innovation Officer roles
  • How Marsh and McLennan’s various Operating Companies have increased focus in doing more things commonly
  • How Ben’s team facilitates collaboration across the largely independent Operating Companies
  • How the structure of innovation functions vary by business, industry, and the velocity of change
  • Ben’s background as a business executive and how this affects the work in his current role
  • Eye on the Trends: Mobility and the ubiquity of low-cost devices, and how this will influence massive increases in flexibility, productivity, efficiency, and innovation

Nick Colisto, Chief Information Officer of K. Hovnanian

In this interview, Nick Colisto discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His priorities around integrating the business suite of applications across the company
  • The four layers of K. Hovnanian’s business suite: master data, best of breed business apps, system integration, and business intelligence
  • The importance of framing business colleagues not as “customers”, but rather as partners, in order to stress that IT be seen as peers
  • K. Hovnanian’s use of technology to enhance the customer experience through the implementation of a buyer’s portal and electronic payment process
  • The company’s approach to dynamically solicit customer feedback
  • His team’s approach to talent management, focusing on: performance objectives, conducting a skill inventory, standardizing job descriptions, providing comprehensive training classes, and encouraging job rotations and career development
  • Eye on the trends: mobile computing enabling the workforce on the go, enabling enterprise systems and BI for the smart phone, and taking advantage of competition in the cloud computing market to reap cost savings