Archive | Leadership

Recognised as a top Digital Transformation Leader by HP Enterprise

digital transformation leaderHonoured to be recognised by HP Enterprise as a top Digital Transformation Leader to follow and you can read the full piece on the HP Enterprise website here.

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Judge and Mentor for the MassChallenge Accelerator Program

MCMentorBadgesI am honoured to have been selected as one of the expert judges presiding over the choice of start-ups for the annual intake and overall awards in the MassChallenge Accelerator Program as well as providing hands-on mentoring to founding CEOs and their teams across a variety of industries.

MassChallenge is the most start-up friendly accelerator on the planet with intakes from over 75 countries, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached.

  • Global Network – With accelerator programmes in Boston, London, Jerusalem, Geneva and Mexico City and a plan to grow to 10 locations by 2019, MassChallenge is fast becoming the world’s largest global accelerator market
  • Top Backing – MassChallenge is supported by many of the world’s top companies such as Pfizer, Microsoft, IBM, Visa, Pepsico, Fidelity, Unilever, Verizon, Cisco, The Kauffman Foundation, Bose, UPS, EMC and Honda
  • Impact over Equity – They take no equity and the high-impact start-ups that get in to the 4-month program compete to win a portion of several million dollars in equity-free awards. MassChallenge is a non-profit, which means they can focus entirely on helping entrepreneurs from any industry win
  • Scale and Results – MassChallenge is making an impact on a grand scale. Since 2010, they have accelerated 835 high-impact start-ups who have collectively raised $1.1billion+ in funding, generated $520m+ in revenue and created 6500+ jobs to date

 

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How to Structure Your Agile Enterprise

Build new businessFirst of all… this is a really, really, really big topic. If we are lucky, we’ll get a start and maybe lay a foundation for future conversations. My goal in the next 1000 words or so is to at least introduce the foundational concepts, and frankly… help me see where I want to go with this. So… with all my pre-qualifications in place, let’s see what we can do.

Over the last few posts, we’ve talked about what it takes to do Scrum well and explored many of the anti-patterns that cause Scrum to fail. One of the biggest challenges to adopting Scrum is the ability to form complete cross-functional teams. Before we get into how to solve the problem, let’s first explore why it’s so hard to begin with.

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The Top 10 Strategic CIO Issues For 2014

Businessman and business sketchCIOs have never had such a glorious—and challenging—opportunity to deliver significant, enduring, and transformational business impact and customer value as they do today.

But it’s not a job for the faint of heart. Any CIO pining for a return to the good old days of bonuses based on server-uptime and SLA enforcement should consider swapping out the CIO title for a new one: senior director of infrastructure.

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IT Leadership Roles in 2020

IT LeadershipThe keynote at the Gartner Symposium IT Expo here in Barcelona this morning raised a number of interesting points but something I wanted to lift out and explore in a bit more detail was the references to what IT leadership roles they see will be in play in 2020.

Interestingly and in a different twist to what others are saying, Gartner see the CIO role continuing and the CDO role coming to an end having played its significant part.
They see the CDO role as a transformation and change agent who will lead the digital transformation and implementation of a digital leadership culture within the organisation between now and 2020 before bowing out gracefully with a job well done.
If you think about this I believe it makes a lot of sense – it frees up both the CIO and CMO to concentrate on innovation, adding value, meeting their strategic objectives and engaging their client bases.

My only reservation was why wait until 2020 to get this done and instil a digital leadership culture across your organisation?
Surely those who jump on this now and instil a digital leadership ethos throughout their organisations will steal a march on those that postpone or delay the inevitable.

What is becoming more apparent is that by 2020 all leaders no matter what business unit they lead will be expected to have digital skills (and rightly so).
This is key and executives who don’t currently know what digital technologies can bring to their organisations really need to start finding out or risk being left behind.
CMO’s have been working with digital for a while and this has led to the CIO Vs. CMO debate but digital is and will be such an integral part of any organisations strategy, the whole leadership team needs to get involved and work together to enable it.

The rapid rate of improvements in technology means that it will only get easier to implement and manage the digital transformation within your organisations and instil the necessary digital leadership backbone.
Everyone is trying to get one step ahead of the competition and those who correctly identify, digitalise and engage with the right objectives now will quickly launch themselves ahead of the competition.

So, a slightly different angle on what the IT leadership roles may look like down the line but refreshing to see a different viewpoint.

What do you think?

This piece has also been posted on:
Here on the Samsung Business site
The Intel IT Peer Network in my position as IT Industry ‘Thought Leader’ and Featured Blogger

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Is outsourcing the question or the answer?

outsourcequesanswerOnce upon a time, the answer to the question of what are the main benefits of outsourcing was cost savings based on labour arbitrage, but today that response would be superficial and incomplete.

I believe the main benefits of outsourcing are access to scarce skills, expertise and the latest technology, cost reduction, turning capital expenditure into operating expenditure, and the opportunity to concentrate resources on core business objectives.
If you think about outsourcing in this manner, you will not only start to realise areas within your IT organisation that would benefit from adopting it but also ways as a strategic leader you can add further value to your entire organisation by doing so.

The first big error people make when considering outsourcing is looking to resolve a problem without first looking to do so in-house – a problem remains a problem no matter where it sits.
Sensible outsourcing providers will often sniff this out during the RFP or other stages of the bidding process but others may look to take it on, hoping they can fix the issue(s) as a calculated risk whilst trying to win the business (the fact a vendor accepts this huge risk should really start ringing alarm bells for you as you both know there’s an elephant in the room).
Those that don’t take the business (and hopefully this is the majority) will likely make you consider going back and fixing the problem before re-tendering. Those who take it on will only delay the inevitable, leaving you not only with a larger problem downstream but also with the added bonus of a whole heap of complex contractual issues to sort out (which I imagine you will now discover were also not properly agreed or worded up front).
Many take this approach and get their fingers burnt with outsourcing, vowing never to return.
It’s a real shame, as outsourcing done in the right way is an extremely beneficial way to add to the value you provide to your organisation.

The second biggest error people make when considering outsourcing is to engage with and select a vendor by having only had a few live sales meetings/conference calls with a cursory glance over provided case studies. Coupled without ever having visited their operating/service centres to see them in action in a live environment or meet their staff that will be working with your team in person.
You wouldn’t do this if you were hiring permanent staff or running the project in-house, so why do this when exploring outsourcing? It makes no sense.
This often occurs when a company decides to outsource a small project or a portion of it to see if outsourcing works for them in an operational sense.
The vendor is often chosen just on labour arbitrage and due to this the work is often performed in Asia or Eastern Europe.
The ‘project’ is often then left with the vendor with scant and seemingly erratic communication and only poured over in detail once the deliverable is returned with obvious errors.
The end result is the project often has to be redone in-house, blowing the project budget, causing delays and delivering red faces all round.
Outsourcing is again blamed as the enemy with the lack of communication and poor vendor selection/interaction issues being swept conveniently under the carpet.

So, in reflection it may be outsourcing is not for you but you owe it to yourself and your organisation to try everything that can add value to what you deliver.
Outsourcing executed properly can provide real value when opportunities are identified, structured, communicated and managed correctly, so what are you waiting for?

This piece has also been posted on:
The Intel IT Peer Network in my position as IT Industry ‘Thought Leader’ and Featured Blogger
The Business Value Exchange in my position as CIO ‘Thought Leader’ and Featured Contributor
Outsource Magazine in my position as IT Industry ‘Thought Leader’ and Featured Columnist

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IT Industry Thought Leader and Featured Contributor – Intel IT Peer Network

Intel IT Peer NetworkI am proud to announce that I was asked to become an IT Industry Thought Leader and Featured Contributor on the Intel IT Peer Network – an IT facing community for IT professionals hosted by Intel.
Please find a link to the site here (registration may be required).

I will be contributing regularly through featured articles, so please take a look and get involved.

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