Forum on World Class IT - 290 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: Project Management

Shamim Mohammad, SVP and CIO of CarMax

In this interview, Shamim Mohammad, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of CarMax, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Online finance and home delivery as examples of digital transformation at CarMax
  • Co-location and product teams
  • Dev Ops’ role in innovation and execution
  • Product teams consist of individuals from across the company and are responsible for business outcomes
  • Open houses to showcase product teams’ work and current projects
  • Recruiting top IT talent for the digital transformation
  • “cloud first, mobile first” strategy
  • Key trends: block chain, machine learning, mobile, cloud

Karl Salnoske, Executive Vice President, Service Delivery, & Chief Information Officer of GXS

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

  • The increasing importance of domain knowledge among IT employees
  • The importance of governance in any transformation program
  • Building a core competency around project management
  • The importance of closely managing outsourcing
  • The increasing usage of cloud computing and social media in business

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

June Drewry, Former Global Chief Information Officer of Chubb Insurance and Aon Corporation

In this interview, June Drewry, Former Global Chief Information Officer of Chubb Insurance and Aon Corporation, discusses principle one, People, principle three, Project and Portfolio Management, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships, of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • First steps when becoming a global CIO
  • The need for careful decisions on standardization and centralization with a dilligent exceptions process
  • The value of focusing more on streamlining architecture, reuse, data sharing, and portfolio management
  • The usefulness of an Office of the CIO
  • Pushing leaders to operate at a level higher than one’s position
  • Eye on the trends: Ubiquitous access to data, consumerization of IT and the empowerment and pressure from executives outside of IT that is creates, the balance of leveraging cloud computing and maintain a secure environment, and the emerging ability to turn big data into information

Chris Laping, Senior Vice President, Business Transformation and Chief Information Officer of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

In this interview, Chris Laping, the SVP of Business Transformation and CIO of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle two, Infrastructure, principle three, Project & Portfolio Management, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. A live video recording of this interview can be found on Chris’ interview page. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • IT’s unique position to help solve business problems
  • Focusing on fundamentals, influence, and empathy in driving transformation
  • How Chris helped build a world class PMO, and how it now drives non-IT projects
  • The strong partnership between marketing and IT at Red Robin
  • Chris’ business transformation role, and how he orchestrates change pertaining to people, process, and technology
  • Eye on the Trends: Social media and mobile, and how there are many great ideas that are as of yet unfulfilled in these areas as it pertains to the services industry.
  • Q&A: Chris answers questions pertaining to how information security is managed at Red Robin, how changes are initiated, and outsourcing.

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.

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

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

Brook Colangelo, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In this interview, Brook Colangelo, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, an educational and trade publisher, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • His transition from CIO role at the White House to his current role
  • Steps he took to prepare for his new job
  • How he focused on “meta-listening” to identify problems and achieve results in his first 100 days
  • His philosophy to focus on customer and user experience first and then designing the technology behind it
  • Eye on the Trends: Education and the ways to enable and adapt to the learning process as the next frontier in technological innovation

Scott Farquhar, Co-CEO, Co-Founder of Atlassian

    In this interview, Scott Farquhar, Co-CEO of Atlassian, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People; Principle Three: Project and Portfolio Management; Principle Four, IT and Business Partnerships; and Principle Five: External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • The genesis of Atlassian
    • Using the IT team as a point of entry
    • The timing of venture capital funding and taking the company public
    • Fostering a culture of innovation at Atlassian
    • Serving multiple functions across a company
    • Prospects for future growth