Mark McDonald

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Archives for May, 2010


Memorial Day – a time to remember the sacrifices of others and look ahead to the rest of the year.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 30, 2010  |  1 Comment

Memorial Day is a national holiday in the U.S when we set aside time to remember the sacrifices of the men and woman who have given their lives to their country.  Many other countries have similar days of remembrance and this post is in no way intended to say that those days are any less [...]

1 Comment »

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

Technology goes public changing the IT organization

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 28, 2010  |  3 Comments

Technology has gone public. Changes in the technology stack over the last forty years have changed every aspect of IT, including the IT organization.  The figure below provides a summary of the structures within the technology stack.  The model is a little simplistic, but it does illustrate some of the deep structural changes going on [...]

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Category: Leadership Strategy Technology     Tags: , ,

Technology goes public and changes the nature of IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 27, 2010  |  3 Comments

The very notion of what IT is and how it works in transition driven by economic, business and technical forces.  One of those forces is the accelerating degree to which the traditional IT stack is transforming from private to public infrastructure.  That transition has profound impacts on what we consider IT and how we value [...]

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Category: 2010 Personal Observation     Tags: , , ,

Employees First, Customers Second a book review

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 26, 2010  |  8 Comments

Vineet Nayar’s Employees First, Customers Second (EFCS) is a first person CEO’s account of the transformation of their enterprise.  The book is a refreshing and frank look at the challenges facing leaders looking to transform their company, culture and employees.  Nayar discusses his experience leading HCLT and its transformation from a $700 million dollar company [...]

8 Comments »

Category: Book Review Leadership Tools     Tags: , , , , , ,

How IT can avoid being torn apart by growth

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 25, 2010  |  1 Comment

In the preceding post I made an argument that growth demands in the business will tear apart IT’s centralized and consolidated operations. CIOs will face demands for decentralization, greater federation or recognizing that its time to swing the pendulum back to the field as all symptoms of this tension.  It is a tension that they [...]

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Category: Tools     Tags: , , ,

How growth can tear IT apart

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 19, 2010  |  1 Comment

For the past ten years many IT organizations and technologies have centralized.  Multiple cycles of economic growth and recession have led companies to centralize IT to gain scale efficiencies, improve service consistency and consolidate IT expenditures. At the same time, core technologies and the tech industry have consolidated and centralized.  Consolidation is expected to continue [...]

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Category: Economy Leadership Strategy Technology     Tags: , , , , ,

Betty White, Alec Baldwin and IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 17, 2010  |  1 Comment

This post is a little out of the ordinary. Apologies for those readers outside the U.S. but there is a late night comedy review called Saturday Night Live here were various mostly TV stars serve as the guest host.  The last two shows this season were hosted by Betty White and then the finale last [...]

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Category: Personal Observation Technology     Tags: , ,

Who/what is the customer? WIFI connectivity is an example of the need to tackle issues in device-to-device commerce.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 13, 2010  |  2 Comments

In most industries the customer is a person with a location, preferences, etc.  Even in location specific industries, like utilities, there is the idea of the premise for operational systems connected with a customer for business systems.  All of this is going to change and one industry that is going to lead the charge is [...]

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Category: Economy Innovation Technology     Tags:

Can you have a social system without a community or a collective?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 11, 2010  |  5 Comments

Yes, look all around you and you see individuals, competing ideas and small groups of people working independently and creating rather than conforming.  You see a marketplace of ideas that create and sustain vibrant social systems. The reason I raise this question is presently people working in the area of social media believe that the [...]

5 Comments »

Category: Strategy Technology Tools web 2.0     Tags: , ,

Suggesting some requirements for socially adaptive systems

by Mark P. McDonald  |  May 6, 2010  |  1 Comment

Social technologies support social interaction and are distinct from transaction based IT solutions that are not socially adaptive. What does that mean, to be socially adaptive?  Here are some thoughts in no particular order: Socially adaptive systems are person centric; they revolve to some extent around the person as the unit of focus rather than [...]

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Category: Technology Tools web 2.0     Tags: ,