Mark McDonald

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Archives for September, 2009


The Real Business of IT: a real value to IT executives book review

by Mark P. McDonald  |  September 30, 2009  |  6 Comments

What is the business value of IT is a perennial question that dominates executive discussions.  Many have sought to answer this question with fancy algorithms, consulting practices, benchmark data and other tools.  However, the question is basic to IT so it should have a basic answer – right?  Absolutely and fortunately Hunter and Westerman provide [...]

6 Comments »

Category: Book Review CIO Strategy Tools     Tags: , , ,

IT is a global industry

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

I would place IT among the more global industries in our economy and that has implications on how we think of IT strategically, operationally and technically.  IT was going global in the late 1990’s before many companies were global. One might think that IT is global because of developments such as offshore outsourcing of IT [...]

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Category: CIO Strategy     Tags: ,

Where you put complexity drives customer service and cost.

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

The answer to the question: Is business is more complex, seems obvious.  The real question is not is business complex but where does your business put that complexity to its advantage and performance? “Complexity?  Where do I put it?  I can tell you where I would like to put it!” For many enterprises the question [...]

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Category: 2010 CIO Strategy     Tags: , ,

CIOs see the future clearly strategically and operationally

by Mark P. McDonald  |  September 27, 2009  |  5 Comments

Recently I had the opportunity to work with two dozen CIOs as the facilitator of a three-hour discussion on their issues. I talked with 15 CIOs prior to the session to understand the issues at the top of their mind and the areas of strength they could contribute to the discussion.  The results, shown in [...]

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Category: 2010 CIO Leadership Personal Observation     Tags: , , ,

Thinner – a new reality in business books

by Mark P. McDonald  |  September 25, 2009  |  Comments Off

I have been reading a lot of business books lately and posting some of the reviews in this blog.  I have noticed something and would appreciate your thoughts and comments. When Peters & Waterman released “In Search of Excellence” in 1982 they created the modern business best seller.  Their book was more than 400 pages.  [...]

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Category: Personal Observation     Tags:

Forget about commoditization – the real enemy is choice.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  September 24, 2009  |  3 Comments

Commoditization has been the buzzword threat for IT professionals for years.  This reached a fever pitch with Nicholas Carr’s books about IT.  If you wanted to scare a CIO all you have to do is raise the threat of IT becoming a commodity.  The commodity threat abated some as people rushed to cut their budgets [...]

3 Comments »

Category: 2010 budgets CIO Economy Leadership Strategy     Tags: , ,

Collaboration by Morton Hansen Book Review — Recommended

by Mark P. McDonald  |  September 23, 2009  |  2 Comments

Review Headline: Excellent book on executive collaboration, falls a little short in other areas. Every company wants collaboration, but few know how to go about it. Collaboration by Morten Hansen is highly recommended reading for those who want to create collaboration rather than just read about it.  Collaboration is often held up as a universal [...]

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Category: Book Review Economy Innovation Leadership     Tags:

Has the recession bombed your IT back to the ‘data processing age’?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  September 21, 2009  |  5 Comments

Recessions entail more than just a pullback in economic growth; they include a retrenchment in business innovation and activities.  The global recession that began to be formally recognized about a year ago in August 2008, has hit companies hard and their business practices harder – particularly in IT. With global corporate IT budgets declining an [...]

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Category: 2010 budgets CIO Economy Leadership     Tags:

Muda matters – sources of waste applied to IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  September 17, 2009  |  5 Comments

Lean principles are all the rage.  Cutting the fat and reducing waste are leading people to affixing ‘lean’ to everything: lean manufacturing, lean process management and recently lean-IT. Lean principles were originally applied to manufacturing processes and since IT is a process many of these practices apply. Eliminating waste, what lean calls ‘muda’, is the [...]

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Category: budgets Leadership Lean Thinking     Tags: , ,

Waste is not a sustainable source of funding.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  September 16, 2009  |  2 Comments

In tight times executives look to cut cost by reducing waste and abuse while focusing on what really matters.  This makes sense, particularly as an economy shifts from growth or stability into recession. Waste delivers a one-time benefit.  You do not reallocate the waste into a ‘waste bank’ for future savings. Relying on waste as [...]

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Category: Economy Leadership Signs of weak management     Tags: , ,