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: Role of CIO

Bob Willett, Chief Executive Officer of Best Buy International

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

  • The critical role of technology in a multifaceted, geographically dispersed business as the key agent of change
  • The emerging trend of more CEOs coming from a CIO career path
  • The benefits to CEOs of involving their CIOs in all strategic decisions
  • How Best Buy uses Business Information Officers, which are evaluated on their respective businesses, rather than Information Technology Officers
  • The value of software residing in how it is used, rather than in what software is used
  • The importance of cultural fit when working with an external partner to provide value to the customer

Susan Cramm, Founder and President of Valuedance

In this interview, Susan Cramm, Founder and President of Valuedance, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Susan’s perspectives concerning the potential of the role of CIO
  • How IT is an enterprise asset and should be managed as such, and how organizations have the IT capabilities they deserve
  • Susan’s book 8 Things We Hate About IT: How to Move Beyond the Frustrations to Form a New Partnership with IT, and the value it provides
  • How IT leaders need to communicate costs and value in business terms
  • Eye on the Trends: How technology will be embedded in services and products, and that major trends such as mobility, cloud, web services, collaboration, analytics, etc. all really lock in together

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

Brian Watson and Dan Roberts, Confessions of a Successful CIO

In this interview, Brian and Dan, co-authors of Confessions of a Successful CIO: How the Best CIOS tackle their toughest business challenges, discuss World Class IT Principle Four, IT-Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

Mike Macrie, CIO of Land O’Lakes

In this interview, Mike Macrie, CIO of Land O’Lakes, discusses World Class IT principle two, Infrastructure, and principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The ongoing digital transformation that is taking place in the farms of America
  • How Land O’Lakes’ IT has evolved from a supporting function to an industry leader in innovation
  • An overview of technologies that he and his team have developed to help revolutionize the way farmers work
  • Successful management practices that he uses to streamline IT with the needs of the business, its partners, and clients
  • Important emerging skills to be considered by all aspiring technologists
  • The role of cybersecurity at Land O’Lakes
  • Methods to prospect new technologies for the business
  • Eye on the Trends: Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence

Ann Kono, Partner, Chief Information Officer, and Risk Officer at Ares Management

In this interview, Ann Kono, Partner, Chief Information Officer, and Risk Officer at Ares Management , discussed World Class IT Principle One, People and World Class Principle Five, External Partnerships. She also discussed:

  • The interplay of Ann’s dual role as Chief Information Officer and Chief Risk Officer
  • Data as the primary driver of success
  • Using technology to separate the signal from the noise in data
  • The talent challenge
  • Creating a collaborative culture to increase innovation
  • Balancing innovation and risk

Abbie Lundberg, President of Lundberg Media

In this interview, Abbie Lundberg discusses principle four of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • The “CIO’s Dilemma” of competing demands to be agile and innovative, while being responsible for cost cutting
  • Cloud computing and how the concept of making businesses more agile is a great opportunity for IT
  • How CIOs are increasingly focusing on the external customer, whether that be through business intelligence or directly customer facing applications
  • The evolution of the role of the CIO in the years ahead
  • The necessity to “get one’s house in order” in order to first develop credibility with business partners before earning the trust necessary for a seat at the strategy setting table
  • The importance of not only CIOs, but all IT executives that interface with business partners to be able to communicate effectively

Jean Hill, Chief Technology Officer of First New York Securities

In this interview, Jean Hill, the Chief Technology Officer of First New York Securities, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Jean’s role at First New York Securities and her unusual path to become CTO
  • Jean’s business background and how it keeps her focused on the business value of technology
  • The necessity of educating users on how to take advantage of technology solutions
  • The process by which Jean transformed the IT organization
  • Eye on the Trends: Cloud computing and how enterprises will need to find a way to integrate all of the different cloud solutions they have.

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

Jean-Michel Ares, Group Head of Technology & Operations, BMO Financial Group

In this interview, Jean-Michel Ares, Group Head of Technology & Operations at BMO Financial Group, 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:

  • The imperative, at BMO Financial Group and within the broader financial services industry, to combine the functions of technology and operations under a single executive
  • Jean-Michel’s belief in the ability of leadership along the lines of operational excellence, transformation, and innovation to set every CIO on the path to greatness
  • The four outlined “areas of focus” for Jean-Michel’s team in the coming year
  • Jean-Michel’s renewed focus on enterprise security, as well as the important role of external partnerships and networks in securing an organization’s data and resources
  • The great opportunity of each CIO to build strong personal networks, later leveraging those networks to solve complex challenges faced by those within and external to their industry or role
  • Eye on the Trends: The combination of analytics, mobility, social networks, and the Internet of Things in shaping the new technological enterprise