Forum on World Class IT - 299 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

Naresh Shanker, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Palm

In this interview, Naresh Shanker discusses principle three and principle four of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • His priorities for the foreseeable future around operational excellence, a successful merger with Hewlett-Packard, and the preparation for a launch of a new product portfolio
  • How consumer electronics have impacted commercial technologies, and the implications for the future
  • IT’s role in innovation at Palm
  • The benefits and challenges of being headquartered in Silicon Valley, with so many other IT executives to tap as resources
  • How IT can avoid being a bottleneck to project delivery and time-to-market through efficient processes

Bill Miller, SVP & CIO of NetApp

In this interview, Bill Miller, CIO & SVP of NetApp, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, Principle Two, IT Infrastructure, Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Bill’s role in NetApp’s transformation from a data storage to a data management company
  • NetApp’s internal product testing initiatives: Customer-1 and NetApp on NetApp
  • The development of NetApp’s Data Fabric for seamlessly managing data
  • The valuable feedback loop created when your CIO or IT peers are your customers
  • How a culture of fraternity and flexibility encourages innovation
  • The three topics on every CIO’s mind
  • The importance of civility and collaboration for successfully running an IT department in a tech organization
  • Pre-working the First 100 Days plan
  • Eye on the Trends: Companies utilizing a hybrid of cloud-based utilities; Pay-as-you-go cloud model

Richard Nolan, William Barclay Harding Professor Emeritus of Management of Technology at Harvard Business School, Philip M. Condit Endowed Chair in Business Administration at the University of Washington's School of Business

In this interview, Richard Nolan discusses two of the principles of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • The three main eras of IT: DP, Micro, and Network
  • The emergence of digital natives
  • Realizing the vision of IT infrastructure becoming a universally available commodity
  • How IT is indispensable for product driven innovation
  • The necessity for new CIOs to understand the competitive strategy of their organization, the industry, their company’s culture, and the company’s ability to change

John Bowden, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of IT of Lifetime Products

In this interview, John Bowden, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of IT of Lifetime Products, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, principle three, Project & Portfolio Management, principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • John’s role in the organization and how Lifetime Products keeps technology on the leading edge
  • Lifetime Products’ Global IT team, and the “follow the sun” process they employ
  • How certain portions of marketing report to IT, and the advantages this relationship entails
  • Lifetime Products’ practice of limiting vendors to create a simple, cost effective, and standardized environment
  • Eye on the trends: Mobility and business intelligence, and how the business intelligence environment can be extended to mobile devices so that employees can make quicker decisions from wherever they are

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