Forum on World Class IT - 199 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: Tech Enabled Business

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.
  • Marc Lore, CEO and Founder of Jet

    In this interview, Marc Lore, CEO and Founder of Jet, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT-Business Partnerships , with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Overcoming the inefficiencies of the existing market and what market opportunities exist for Jet
    • How he defines the areas of focus for Jet.com
    • Some of the things he has learned from Beta testing the website
    • His sources of profitability by being in a subscription model with a membership fee
    • His time at Quidsi and how his experiences have colored his perspective while launching another retail space venture
    • The advantages of his experience in the financial world as it applies to his current work
    • How he has planned his leadership team to balance strengths and weaknesses
    • How he plans the strategic direction of the new organization

    Peretz Lavie, President of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology

    In this interview, Peretz Lavie, President of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, IT & Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • The Technion’s mission and its role in driving entrepreneurship and engineering success in Israel
    • The innate entrepreneurial nature of Israelis as an immigrant nation and their unique geo-political context
    • What degree entrepreneurship can be taught to students, and what innate traits future entrepreneurs bring with them to the Technion
    • How alumni contribute in the classroom and providing business opportunities to Technion students
    • The Technion’s successful partnership with Cornell University to establish the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute in New York City and the contribution of JTCI to the city
    • Faculty’s involvement in the companies that Technion’s students develop, and how the Technion financially encourages faculty’s start-ups
    • Lavie’s own research on sleep and an individual’s peak creativity and alertness
    • Eye on the Trends: Nanotechnology’s role in monitoring health and automatic translations capacity to globalize education

    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

    Eric Singleton, Chief Information Officer of Chico's, Inc.

    In this interview, Eric Singleton, CIO of Chico’s, Inc., 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 benefits of drawing from IT experience across different verticals and industries to deliver game-changing solutions to a new sector.
    • Eric’s innovation in applying the “customer perspective” to the traditionally internally focused organization of IT, as well as how it has led him to become a more externally-focused and sensitive CIO.
    • • The comprehensive approach Eric took when developing Chico’s innovative FAS Digital Retail Theater to seamlessly blur the line between the “bricks and clicks.”
    • The imperative of “relentless transparency” with the customer when capturing information at the point of sale, both to build trust and communicate enhanced value to the customer experience in a way that sustains the relationship between consumer and brand.
    • The ability of the Tech Tables to leverage technology in a way that elicits a natural and memorable social interaction with customers while significantly decreasing inventory carrying costs for Chico’s.
    • Eye on the Trends: The blurring of lines between the augmented reality digital experience and its spillover into everyday reality, the idea of real life interaction with technology as a continuum that now extends to each moment of the customer lifestyle and the ability of a brand to tap into that connectedness.

    Bruce Hoffmeister, Global Chief Information Officer of Marriott International

    n this interview, Bruce Hoffmeister, Global CIO at Marriott International, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT and Business Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • Discussion on the unique paths taken by Bruce as a CIO, and the benefits of a financial background in a tech-oriented position
    • Marriot’s digital business, and the role of IT and its partnership with other departments to facilitate technologic development and to create the best guest experience
    • The opportunity, because of smart devices, to communicate with customers and connect with them at all points of their journey, and to allow guests to interact with the company in the ways that they want to
    • The future of loyalty programs for hotels, and the changing habits and desires of younger travelers, and the implication those changes have on hotel’s programming
    • Marriot’s structure of IT, and the benefits of having an outward-focused technology system that possesses a better understanding of the overall business
    • Eye on the Trends: An “invisible” technology system, in which technology is able to meet customers’ needs so well that it is almost invisible in its seamless and effortless execution

    Stephen Gold, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for CVS Caremark

    In this interview, Stephen Gold, SVP and CIO of CVS Caremark, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, and principle four, Business and IT Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • The current set-up of his role at CVS Caremark
    • The strategies he leveraged as he prepared for his first 100 days at the organization
    • Discussion of five strategic pillars that Steve prioritizes, and how he uses the ACT framework (accountability, collaboration, and tenacity) to develop metrics against those strategic pillars
    • How CIOs need to be great business leaders and strong technologists
    • Eye on the Trends: The recent changes in the healthcare sector combined with consumerization of technology will continue to empower people in better managing their healthcare

    Jon Harding, Global CIO of Conair Corporation

    In this interview, Jon Harding, Global CIO of Conair Corporation, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • The centralized structure of IT within Conair
    • The methodology of expanding an organization’s information technology system on a global scale
    • Vendor management practices, and the implications of local and more global partnerships for a major corporation
    • Eye on the Trends: The potential of big data, and the internet of things – ability of all sorts of devices to communicate

    Brian Bonner, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Texas Instruments

    In this interview, Brian Bonner, VP and CIO of Texas Instruments, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle two, Infrastructure, and principle five, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

    • The unique paths that bring CIOs to the Information Officer position
    • Transition of IT from simply a “support role” to an integral aspect of organization’s innovative processes
    • The role of information technology in a business’s strategic planning
    • The benefits to the CIO position for members to hold advisory positions in other organizations
    • Eye on the Trends: The growing importance of big data, cloud computing, analytics, and the importance of not innovating for innovations sake

    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