Forum on World Class IT - 328 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: Product Development

Michael Blake, Chief Information Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation

In this interview, Michael Blake, Chief Information Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Michael’s role in the organization and his major goals
  • IT’s growing role in the hospitality industry
  • Creating an ecosystem of partners that allows Hyatt to align with leading edge product offerings
  • The shift in skills as a result of forming the ecosystem of partners, with a greater emphasis on business analysis and vendor management
  • Eye on the Trends: Cloud computing and how it can help Hyatt capture economies of scale, despite having fewer properties than their main competitors. Mobility and how it can bring capabilities that ultimately improves the customer experience

Tony Scott, Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Microsoft

In this interview, Tony Scott, Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Microsoft, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle three, Project & Portfolio Management, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The genesis of Microsoft IT’s transformation to align to business processes
  • How IT must go beyond collaboration and digitally connect the organization across business units
  • How Microsoft employs an IT transformation method referred to as “GET”
  • The new skills that need to be promoted as a result of the transformation
  • Eye on the Trends: Cloud computing and how it facilitates the digital process journey Microsoft is undertaking through improved scalability and flexibility

Jim Whitehurst, Chief Executive Officer and President of Red Hat, Inc.

In this interview, Jim Whitehurst, the Chief Executive Officer and President of Red Hat, Inc., discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How open source enables constituents to contribute and make significant improvements to products
  • How a good deal of innovation in IT comes from users
  • How Red Hat acts as a catalyst of communities, and seeks to influence as opposed to manage
  • The evolving role of the CIO, and how CIOs have more opportunities to see across the business
  • How Red Hat seeks to engage and collaborate with leading edge companies

Ken Venner, Chief Information Officer of SpaceX

In this interview, Ken Venner, Chief Information Officer of SpaceX, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT and Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The need for business units and IT departments to communicate with and understand each other
  • The strategies he undertook to build a resilient IT workflow structure needed in a lean organization like SpaceX
  • Working with Elon Musk and deriving value and insights from other companies in his portfolio
  • The unique challenge of blue-printing and institutionalizing a CIO office at a dynamic organization like SpaceX
  • Eye on the Trends:Because of security regulations for aerospace companies, SpaceX aims to achieve efficiency and scale by vertically integrating all processes and maintaining full ownership of any solutions developed

Cathy Bessant, Global Technology and Operations Executive of Bank of America

In this interview, Cathy Bessant, Group Technology and Operations executive at Bank of America, the second largest bank holding company in the US by assets, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle four, IT & Business Partnership, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How she manages multiple CIOs and senior IT executives that report to her
  • Reducing spending should not equate to under-spending, which curtails growth
  • The shifting away of focus on deeply technical and engineering backgrounds for IT executives at large corporations
  • The complementary roles of chief marketing officer and IT executives
  • How board work can be a valuable training for executives to rise within their own organizations
  • Eye on the Trends:It is a hard time for the banking industry in general, and firms like BOA will continue to reduce risk, integrate acquisitions, and decrease operating costs through superior IT

Umar Saif, Vice Chancellor of Information Technology University, Pakistan

In this interview, Umar Saif, Vice-Chancellor of Information Technology University in Pakistan, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • How he leveraged experiences at Cambridge and MIT to bring back lessons to Pakistan
  • How LUMS first responded to the entrepreneurial ethos that Umar brought to the table
  • Umar’s innovations and projects that have had real social and private sector impact in Pakistan
  • Cultural and logistical constraints faced by tech entrepreneurs in Pakistan, including a murky intellectual property legal space
  • The rise of citizen journalism
  • Eye on the Trends: Fundamental changes occurring in the education and media fields, which create great opportunities for entrepreneurs like Umar in Pakistan

Gene Kim, Entrepreneur and Author of The Phoenix Project

In this interview, Gene Kim, Entrepreneur and Author of The Phoenix Project discusses World Class IT Principle two, Infrastructure, and Principle three, Project and Portfolio Management, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The concept of DevOps and its impactful presence in tech giants such as Amazon, Netflix, and Etsy
  • The transferability of the DevOps perspective across a wide variety of industries, sectors, and organizational models
  • Characteristics, as noted by Gene, that the best and most impactful leaders managing DevOps tend to have
  • The confluence of changes in technology, people, and processes that has led to the era of DevOps
  • Themes from Gene’s forthcoming book, The DevOps Cookbook
  • Eye on the Trends: Containers as a mechanism for rapid, automated testing by developers

Gopichand Katragadda, CTO of Tata Group

In this interview, Gopichand Katragadda, CTO of Tata Group, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His role as the within Tata, and his mandate as the first CTO of the organization
  • The ways in which he has pursued the goal of shifting the organization to become one of the 10 most technologically innovative companies in the world
  • The structure he has set between members of his team at the group level and on a company-by-company level
  • Areas of innovation that he has pursued
  • The extent to which he has focused on the Indian market compared to the global market
  • His role at General Electric India’s technology center, and how he has leveraged talent processes in India across the global reach of the company
  • The rise of Indian education and his diverse set of hobbies including film, writing, and music development

Rob Webb, Chief Information Technology Officer of the Etihad Aviation Group

In this interview, Rob Webb, Chief Information Technology Officer of the Etihad Aviation Group, discusses World Class IT principle 1, People, principle 4, IT and Business Partnerships, and principle 5, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Leveraging technology platforms across airlines to achieve economies of skill and scale
  • The role of the Chief Information Technology Officer versus the CIO and CTO
  • Implementing a cloud-first approach and mobility solutions
  • Parallels between the hospitality space and the airline industry
  • Investing in people to meet the demand rapid business growth places on IT
  • Enabling safe growth by focusing on better prioritization and program management
  • Using a strategic approach to external partnerships to realize economies of scale and human capital development
  • How Gulf culture encourages investment in leading-edge technologies
  • Eye on the Trends: Integrating data analytics from synthesized loyalty programs and location-based services to improve customer experience and targeted marketing.
  • Ron Ross, Fellow of the National Institute of Standards and Technology

    In this interview, Ron Ross, Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, discusses World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • His organization, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and his role within it
    • The paradigm shift in the complexity of technology and our ability to protect it
    • How the Internet of Things complicates the security problems already in place
    • NIST’s publication – Systems Security Engineering: An Integrated Approach to Building Trustworthy Resilient Systems
    • Who NIST engages for their publications and how they engage with their partners
    • TACIT Security – Threats, Assets, Complexity, Integration, and Trustworthiness
    • How people-centric security problems can be better addressed
    • The role that business continuity and disaster recovery plans play in security
    • Building security into systems to increase the level of confidence in systems