Forum on World Class IT - 354 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: Vendor Management

Kevin Hart, EVP and CTO of Cox Communications

In this interview, Kevin Hart, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Cox Communications, the third-largest cable entertainment and broadband services provider in the country, discusses World Class IT principle one, People, principle three, Project and Portfolio, and principle four, IT & Business Partnership, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The uniqueness of his role at CTO at Cox
  • His first 100 days plan for his CTO role
  • How he has implemented a faster pace of innovation within technology at Cox, in order to compete within the rapidly-evolving video entertainment market
  • Eye on the Trends: Aligning IT initiatives with overall business goals at firms through evolving roles of the CIOs and CTO, and the steps Ken has undertaken to institutionalize formalized training programs such as CIO University

Bob Willett, World Class IT Principle Five, External Partnerships, eSeminar with Bob Willett, CEO of Al Futtaim Group, and Former CIO of Best Buy and CEO of Best Buy International

This interview is the fifth in a special series of five eSeminars covering the Five Principles of World Class IT. The five interviews have been broadcast in sequential weeks, and in this conversation on principle five –External Partnerships, Bob Willett discusses the following ideas:

  • The lessons learned from having been a provider of outsourced services to the time when he was a user of them
  • The rationale and benefits of outsourcing the majority of the IT department
  • The benefits he sought and gained through outsourcing, and why reducing cost was not the number one priority
  • How Best Buy’s “Business Information Officers” served to translate business requirements to vendors
  • How best to evaluate external partners beyond just measuring SLAs

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

Ananda Rakhit, Chief Information Officer of NES Rentals

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

  • How to manage a virtual workforce
  • Focusing on hiring people with hard skills and teaching soft skills
  • Setting priorities to deliver projects on time and on target
  • The importance of building vendor relationships
  • How to properly evaluate vendors

Vic Bhagat, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Business Solutions and Chief Information Officer of EMC Corporation

In this interview, Vic Bhagat, EVP and CIO of EMC Corporation, discusses World Class IT principle four, IT Business Partnerships, and principle five, External Partnerships, with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The logic and detailed set up of his role at EMC
  • Insights and techniques he learned from managing vendors at GE
  • How he conducts strategic planning to make it a more collaborative process for various silos under his leadership
  • His advice on preparing for CIO-Plus roles
  • Eye on the Trends: How large organizations are increasingly looking at CIOs to become more than “information officers” and help them grow and enable the business

Becky Krupski, Director of the IT Vendor and Asset Management Offices of Express Scripts, Inc.

In this interview, Becky Krupski discusses principle five of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • The importance of treating vendor management as more than vendor procurement
  • The way a Vendor Management Office creates an advantage by allowing the technologists to focus on where their skill sets lie
  • How best to manage vendor effectiveness through SLAs and other qualitative and quantitative assessments
  • The segmentation of vendors into Strategic, Collaborative, and Tactical, and the unique treatment that each set warrants in order to drive the business
  • The dynamics of interconnectivity that the VMO has with other parts of the business

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 Parker, Former Chief Executive Officer of AirNet Systems and Managing Director of IT Management Group

In this interview, Bruce Parker discusses three of the five principle of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • How a good CIO is well prepared to become a good CEO
  • Gaining the business’ trust in order to align and innovate
  • The keys to building successful relationships with external partners
  • How to build international teams and to expand into different regions with diverse cultures

Martha Poulter, CIO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

In this interview, Martha Poulter, Executive Vice President and CIO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, 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:

  • Her role and vision for the IT organization at Starwood
  • The way in which the IT team gets involved in the customer experience
  • How her experiences as a customer of Starwood colors her experience to developing internal plans
  • How she divided her time during her first 100 days as she came on-board at Starwood
  • Some of the early plans Martha had for the organization and how she sees those plans moving forward into the future
  • IT’s role from an innovation perspective and how they organize around those activities
  • How her tenure at GE Capital helped her transition to Starwood
  • Eye on the Trends: Data as an asset, computing miniaturization – mobile, wearables, etc, and the Internet of Things

Carl Ascenzo, Former SVP & CIO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA; Principle Consultant at Ascention Consulting

In this interview, Carl Ascenzo discusses principle five of World Class IT with Metis Strategy. Some of the topics discussed include

  • Customer orientation as a key skill for anyone working in IT
  • The importance of pursuing vendor management
  • How to structure, build, and run a vendor management office
  • The importance of cultural fit when choosing strategic vendors
  • How getting the lowest price from a vendor may not always be in a company’s best interest