Forum on World Class IT - 303 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

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

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.

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

Chris Scalet, Former Executive Vice President of Global Services and Chief Information Officer of Merck

In this interview, Chris Scalet, the former EVP, Business Services and Chief Information Officer of Merck, 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:

  • How Chris familiarizes himself in new environments through engaging business leaders
  • How Chris’ role expanded as Merck built a multifunctional shared services capability
  • How Merck focused on the three step model of consolidate, integrate, and optimize
  • The evolving role of the CIO, and how CIOs have more opportunities to see across the business
  • How the CIO role has evolved such that CIOs are more about the business than they are technology
  • Eye on the Trends: Mobility and how it changes the way we interact with customers, business partners, and employees; the need for CIOs to embrace and appropriately manage consumerization of IT, and how cloud computing will become more pervasive

Jay Levine, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

In this interview, Jay Levine discusses principles one, People, two, Infrastructure, and four, IT & Business Partnerships, of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • Jay’s priorities of focusing in the near term on addressing government mandates while in the longer term preparing his company for the shift to a business to consumer environment
  • The dramatic changes to the health insurance supply chain, and how regulatory measures are driving significant technology modernization and transformation
  • How Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN is approaching the uncertainty of legal regulations in health reform, as well as the bets the company is making regardless of regulation
  • How, when taking on a new CIO position, one must commit to obsessive learning about a new industry while also identifying parallels with other industry experience
  • The necessity to run a non-profit like a for-profit business, while heavily appreciating the community-oriented mission of the company
  • How the health insurance industry lags others in its adoption of commodity labor and software solution, and how this will be a necessary shift in approach in order to meet the increasing time to market demands of a business to consumer market
  • Eye on the trends: Mobile devices’ ability to provide rich data anywhere, cloud computing playing a role in agility, and the ability for Software as a Service (SaaS) to enable transformational efforts in a shorter time period

Gaurav Dhillon, Chief Executive Officer of SnapLogic

In this interview, Gaurav Dhillon, the Chief Executive Officer of SnapLogic, an enterprise application and data integration software development company, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, principle four, IT and Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Technologies and capabilities that are ripe for the Cloud
  • SnapLogic’s strategic advisor CIO Council
  • The criticality of integrating technologies and capabilities
  • Embracing the changing technology landscape
  • CIO as the Chief Integration Officer
  • Companies’ need for data scientists
  • Eye on the Trends: The potential of leveraging the Cloud and Big Data together, the potential to access customers and employees in new ways through mobile technologies, and how Analytics will evolve from Business Intelligence to influence everything from pricing, to fraud detection, to product optimization