Friday, March 7, 2014
"Digital needs to be about raising human ability." That was the message Mark McDonald, managing director of management consulting at Accenture, brought to the Fusion 2014 CEO-CIO Symposium, one of a number of speakers who stressed the need for CIOs to work with the business to bring more value to individuals, both inside and outside the organization.
They might not fly yet, but cars increasingly have a few tricks up their sleeves. Many of them are coming from the use of IT and disruptive technologies including mobile and big data, as the Fusion 2014 CEO-CIO Symposium learned from Paul Pebbles, senior manager of technology planning and sandbox development at General Motors.
Suppose you're a thermostat maker who learns that Google just spent $3.2 billion to buy another thermostat maker. You can be pretty sure "digital disruption" has struck. But most of us don't get that clear a knock upside the head. "Everyone talks about disruption like it's global thermonuclear war," remarked Mark McDonald, an Accenture managing director who heads up the firm's digital business strategy practice. "None of the companies that everyone talks about being disrupted died overnight. It happens gradually."
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Software as a service isn't the hot new thing anymore. Not for many of the companies whose IT executives attended the Fusion 2014 CEO-CIO Symposium. What sounded farfetched not so long ago is becoming business as usual, and CIOs are finding ways to evaluate it alongside more traditional options while learning how to leverage it for speed and innovation.
Is it possible to deliver innovation, transformation, and cultural change in the cutthroat world of disruptive business models?
Colony Brands is in the process of finding out, but it's much like figuring out how to fire bullets while taking incoming ordinance.
Whenever someone is described as a Machiavellian genius, it can be a compliment, a sign of grudging respect, or a five-alarm warning.
In the IT workforce, personality profiles run the gamut. Some CIOs end up in positions where they don't have much power, they take punches each day, and they are the very definition of lambs. Others are a bit like Eddie Haskell wolf-like bullies to their staff underlings, but they put on a polite facade when dealing with the chief executive.
Guest Column/Peter High:
When Stuart McGuigan began his tenure at Johnson & Johnson, he had already been the CIO at CVS Caremark and at Liberty Mutual. A leader with a masters degree in cognitive sciences from Yale, McGuigan thinks more than the average leader about how the mind works, and thus how to motivate people. As he notes in my interview with him, learning the culture of an organization is the first order of business for a new leader. Only then can the appropriate changes be made during the window of change afforded a new executive during the early days of his tenure.
Guest Column/Ian Cox:
Faced with the disruption of their roles, the CIO and the IT function need to change. To survive the perfect storm of disruptive technologies and trends, tech-savvy colleagues, higher expectations, vendors going directly to other executives, business units bypassing the IT function and shadow IT, CIOs need a new model for IT in the digital age.
Guest Column/Martha Heller:
Michael Smith became CIO of Mylan in 2012, five years after the pharmaceutical company had acquired Mercks generic drug business. The 50 year old company had become a nearly $7B global company in only five years but still had work to do to fully integrate the acquisition, tear down silos, and establish global processes.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
All the corporate angst about disruptive business models and stealth competitors begs a simple question: how can established businesses take the initiative and innovate enough to remain on the offensive? Sparking the innovative process within organizations was the subject of a strategic briefing during the opening day of the Fusion CEO-CIO Symposium
produced by WTN Media.
As the dust has settled from the D.C. Circuits January 14th decision to vacate and remand the FCC Open Internet Order for another try, and from FCC Chairman Wheelers February 19th statement accepting the courts invitation to propose open Internet rules that could pass court muster, what does it all this mean going forward?
It's one thing when business disruption is caused by previously unforeseen competition, but it's quite another thing when the folks in your own C-Suite are responsible for it. In the case of Spectrum Brands, the latter is a good problem to have because the disruption in question was created by an acquisition that doubled the organizations employee count.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Thanks to information technology, that ever-present enabler of speed and agility, traditional business models are under attack from a bevy of online services, and any business organization that presumes immunity will be in for a big, fat surprise.
This new and pervasive worry of C-Suite executives will be examined in depth at the 2014 Fusion CEO-CIO Symposium.
Business Model Innovation/Kay Plantes:
The pace and magnitude of disruptive forces crashing against the seawalls of our businesses and personal lives only grow stronger. The power of 1975s fastest super computer is now captured in a $400 Apple iPhone. A $100 genome will be feasible in the next decade. These and other examples are cited in a 2013 McKinsey&Company report, Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will transform life, business and the global economy.
Mt. Gox, the troubled Bitcoin exchange that filed for bankruptcy protection last week, just issued a new statement on its predicament. This latest announcement outlines Mt. Goxs dire financial situation, and what the company plans to do about it.
Press releases and other news
Monday, March 3, 2014
Guest Column/Peter Coffee:
Whenever I visit a conference like this year's Fusion CEO-CIO Symposium, I essentially have to prove that I'm from the future - and that I brought with me a map of how to get there. I propose to cheat by using the strategy attributed to Dennis Gaborinventor of holographywhen he said, in 1963, The future cannot be predicted - but futures can be invented. For starters (but only for starters), let's invent.
CIOs are facing unprecedented disruption in technology and business models around the confluence of software as a service, changing economics of always-on fast networks versus processing power, and the ability of business units to provision more and more technology without even directly involving IT. How they deal with that disruption will affect their place as executives, when technology is becoming increasingly integrated into the business and yet the part of the technology executive seems in flux.
Press releases and other news
Friday, February 28, 2014
Guest Column/Paul A. Jones:
When high impact startups outside the major venture capital centers start getting on the radar screens of larger established venture center investors, their angel investors will from time to time be faced with a choice: should they cash out (sell their angel shares into the new VC round) or hold on to those shares in anticipation of a much bigger exit down the road.
Inside Wisconsin/Tom Still:
As the Wisconsin Legislature rolls toward a spring wrap-up of its work, economic development items on its agenda range from protecting intellectual property from patent trolls to setting the stage for more classified research to rethinking the states sore-thumb tax on capital raised by many young companies.