Tag Archives: Digital

Exec Who Ran $15B Digital Operation For Marriott Will Teach The World’s Illiterate

Peter High interviews Shafiq Khan, Founder of the Teach the World Foundation. They discuss digital’s potential impact on education, the illiteracy problem around the world, among other topics.

Okta’s Co-Founder And COO On His Path To Success And What’s Next For The Company

Peter High interviews Frederic Kerrest, Chief Operating Officer of Okta. They discuss his entrepreneurial journey, the evolving challenges for CIO’s, the increasing issue of identity within organizations, among other topics.

The CEO Of GE Digital On What Is Next For The Industrial Icon

Peter High interviews Bill Ruh, the Chief Executive Officer of GE Digital and the Chief Digital Officer or General Electric. They discuss the importance of blending new talent with existing employees so both sides can learn, how digital and new technology is impacting business models in all sectors, especially the industrial sector, the different steps of GE’s digital transformation, among other topics.

7-Eleven CDO And CIO Creates Experiences Of The Future For Customers

In this interview, Peter high interviews Gurmeet Singh, Senior Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, and Chief Information Officer of 7-Eleven. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • 7-Eleven’s multi-year journey to become a digitally-enabled organization, including Gurmeet’s “full stack transformation” approach which encompasses consumer-facing technology, back-end technology, infrastructure, and the organizational stack
  • How digital is a strategic pillar at 7-Eleven, mandated directly by the CEO
  • The critical importance of technical talent to 7-Eleven’s future, and Gurmeet’s strategy for attracting top talent – such as highlighting his credibility as a leader and telling a compelling story
  • The ways in which Gurmeet is redefining convenience with software, such as the recognition that the closest store to a customer is the phone in their pocket, and 7-Eleven’s use of APIs and new interfaces to create delightful experiences
  • The expansion of 7-Eleven’s loyalty program from its initial focus on beverages to as a full-fledged loyalty offering that is available on mobile, web, digital loyalty card, and even chatbot
  • 7-Eleven’s approach to experimenting with emerging technologies, including their distinction between technologies that are ready to scale and technologies that are still in the proof of concept phase, a new R&D center, and a CTO function that reports to Gurmeet

With A Major Digital Transformation In Place, SunTrust CIO Anil Cheriyan Exits

Peter High interviews Anil Cheriyan, the former CIO of SunTrust. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • Anil’s plans after he retires from SunTrust, including traveling, continuing to serve on advisory boards for late-stage growth startups, continuing to consult and advise companies, and pursuing a board position at a public company
  • How Anil came to advise growth-stage startups by developing relations during his tenure as CIO, and the ways in which startups benefit from a CIOs perspective, such as on the topics of attracting talent and pursuing revenue opportunities
  • How Anil addressed SunTrust’s fragmented approach to digital by hiring business segment CTOs, a Chief Data Officer, and an enterprise-level Chief Digital Officer, all of which reported to him as CIO
  • The siloed state SunTrust’s technology group was in when Anil joined, and how Anil broke those silos down over the course of a six-year transformation that implemented a new operating model to drive alignment, cost transparency, and strategic investment decisions
  • The advantages Anil sees to having been a consultant earlier in his career, including gaining experience in driving change management and business alignment, as well as working closely with the leadership team at SunTrust
  • SunTrust’s transition from an innovation strategy of ad hoc hackathons and collaborative office hours to a comprehensive framework that leveraged an agile way of working, a DevOps mindset, and new technologies like the cloud and AI

An Interview With Toomas Hendrik Ilve, The Architect Of The Most Digitally Savvy Country On Earth

Peter High interviews Toomas Hendrick Ilves, the former President of Estonia. Among the topics they discuss include:

  • How President Ilves’ international upbringing shaped his worldview, including the influences of growing up bilingual, being a child of refugee parents, and learning to program at a young age
  • The role that President Ilves played in pushing the digitization narrative, both before he was President as part of the underground Communist resistance, as well as during his presidency
  • The impact that becoming a newly independent nation around the time that the internet was exploding had on Estonia’s ability to recognize the power of a digital society, and Estonia’s early digitization efforts such as e-identity and the X-Roads distributed architecture which was implemented in 2001
  • The collaboration required between the government, the private sector, and the public that was required to digitize the nation, why the private sector and general public have been more enthusiastic than the government due to the business efficiencies and personal conveniences, and how thee digital system is decoupled from politics in the mind of the Estonian people
  • Estonia’s cyber-war with Russia, which was the first of its kind, and how it resulted in the creation of the NATO Center for excellence in Cyber Security, which is located in Estonia
  • The features of Estonia’s e-residency program, such as being able to become an e-citizen and set up an online business registered in the European Union, and how that helps Estonia’s economy compensate despite its small geography and population
  • President Ilves’ focus since leaving office, including his academic focus on threats to democracy in the digital era, and work with other nations that are interesting in emulating Estonia’s digital society

Taavi Kotka, former Chief Information Officer of Estonia

In this interview, Taavi Kotka discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, World Class IT Principle Two, Infrastructure, and World Class IT Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • The conditions that enabled Estonia’s transformation into the world’s most advanced digital society
  • Taavi’s transition from CEO of one of the largest software development companies in the Baltic states to Estonian Government CIO, as well as some of the early projects he led
  • How blockchain technology can provide an extra layer of data security
  • How Estonia reduces friction for citizens by using regulation to encourage data sharing between government entities
  • The ways in which digital technology improves efficiency and simplifies life for Estonian citizens in areas such as healthcare, banking, taxes, education, voting, law enforcement, among others
  • How giving citizens control over their data creates a self-enforcing mechanism that protects privacy and provides security
  • The genesis of Estonia’s e-Residency program, and how it allows Estonia to grow its economy without relying on increased birth rates or immigration
  • Taavi’s view on the disruption of government and the future of digital society

Taso Du Val, Co-Founder & CEO of Toptal

In this interview, Taso Du Val, discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT & Business Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Toptal’s mission
  • Finding, screening, and monitoring talent
  • Toptal’s two engagement models: Talent Model and Toptal Projects
  • Taso’s entrepreneurial journey
  • Advantages Toptal has gained by developing their own CRM, ERP, VPM systems
  • Future talent verticals

George Corbin, SVP of Digital at Marriott International

In this interview, George Corbin, Senior Vice President of Digital for Marriott International, discusses World Class IT Principle One, People, and Principle Five, External Partnerships. Some of the topics discussed include:

  • Marriott’s place among the highest revenue earners by a digital channel
  • The maturity curve and the challenge of disruption for incumbent companies
  • Advantages that incumbents have over startups in evolving industries
  • Disrupting your own organization
  • The millennial mindset that spans across multiple age demographics
  • Marriott’s transformation of the service experience
  • Leading and managing a transforming organization
  • The impact of Airbnb on the hospitality industry
  • Adapting across an organization to fundamental shifts in customers’ needs and expectations
  • The influence of culture and existing operating models on a company’s management of digital disruption
  • Marriott’s embracement of the localization of the travel experience
  • Characteristics of a successful Chief Digital Officer
  • Building alliances and coalitions to drive and support change
  • Using pilot programs to de-risk change for internal and external partners
  • Messaging as a service, not marketing

Bill Miller, CIO & SVP at NetApp

In this interview, Bill Miller, CIO of NetApp discusses World Class IT Principle Four, IT and Business 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