Mark McDonald

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Archives for April, 2009


A technical tool for social alignment

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 29, 2009  |  2 Comments

Business and IT alignment is a persistent and pervasive issue.  It is a persistent issue facing all executives, those who are responsible for the business and those responsible for IT.  Alignment involves the synchronization of plans and objectives across both groups.  IT people see alignment as a technical system largely driven by tools.  IT professionals […]

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Category: Tools     Tags: , , ,

Notes from the swine flu front line.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 28, 2009  |  1 Comment

I met the other day with a CIO from a Health Ministry in a country that has confirmed swine flu cases and I asked them how things were going.  The response was very reassuring.  “Fine, we have set up a command center, it is working, and we have done everything according to plan.”  The CIO […]

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Category: CIO Leadership     Tags: , ,

#12 IT effectiveness and enterprise effectiveness are linked — twelve things every business leader should know about IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 26, 2009  |  3 Comments

The real reason that business leaders need to know about IT is that IT is an important part of any effective business.  While that sounds like a claim that is more often opinion than observation, it is something that we have been studying at Gartner Executive Programs for some time.  The good news is that […]

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Category: 12 things business should know about IT CIO Leadership Strategy     Tags: , ,

#11 IT requires ongoing investment in its core, like other operations, just faster — twelve things every business leader should know about IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 22, 2009  |  Comments Off

Technologists are quick to point out that if automobiles improved as much or as fast as computers they would run a million miles on the gallon of fuel, have more features than a driver could ever use, be able to carry an unlimited number of passengers – you get the picture.   About this time, […]

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Category: 12 things business should know about IT CFO CIO Economy     Tags: , , ,

What’s on your mind — on vacation this next week

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 19, 2009  |  1 Comment

Readers, boy you do not know how great it is to think that I have readers, I will be on vacation this week starting actually on April 14th.  I will be back with more blog entries starting the week of April 26th. In the meantime, this blog has been going for about 100 days, so […]

1 Comment »

Category: Personal Observation     Tags: , ,

Let there be light! – Why are business hotel rooms so dark

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 15, 2009  |  6 Comments

This entry is a personal observation and pet peeve.  Why are hotel rooms at business hotels so dark and poorly lit?  I would think that hotel managers would look to make their rooms more attractive to business travelers who need to be more productive on the road.  However lately this does not seem to be […]

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Category: Fun Personal Observation     Tags: ,

#10 IT financials require improvement — twelve things every business leader should know about IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 13, 2009  |  3 Comments

“Everything I need to know about a company I can tell from its financials.”  This statement is foundational to modern management.  While we can debate the efficacy of financials as a way of knowing what is really going on in a company, financial is the language most people use to understand the business, its contribution […]

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Category: 12 things business should know about IT CFO CIO Economy     Tags: , , ,

#9 IT plays different roles in different companies and industries – twelve things every business leader should know about IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 8, 2009  |  2 Comments

Overhearing executives talk about IT and it quickly becomes apparent that they believe that all IT is pretty much the same.  Your IT is the same as my IT, should be funded the same, managed the same, thought of as the same.  With one exception – the IT that they use or the IT that […]

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Category: 12 things business should know about IT CIO Leadership Strategy     Tags: , , ,

#8 – IT can evolve faster than management thinking — twelve things every business leader should know about IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 3, 2009  |  Comments Off

Executives often do not consider the differing evolutionary pace of technology and management thinking.  Executives over invest in technology and more importantly under invest in management capability because of this gap.  The result is the incomplete business cases and benefits realization rates that are endemic in IT.  Executives need to recognize that IT evolves faster […]

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Category: 12 things business should know about IT Innovation Strategy     Tags: , ,

#7 Executives misunderstand IT in strategy — twelve things every business leader should know about IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  April 2, 2009  |  4 Comments

Strategy drives executive thinking and forms the context for executive decision-making.  Over the last ten years new strategy tools and techniques have come into the market based to clarify and increase the executability of corporate strategy.  The strategy maps and balanced scorecards authored by Kaplan and Norton are examples. Strategists are concerned with issues of […]

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Category: 12 things business should know about IT CIO Leadership Strategy     Tags: , , ,