Mark McDonald

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Archives for June, 2010

Its time to take the X out of Gen X

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 30, 2010  |  4 Comments

Generational differences get everyone’s attention.  People like to think about generational differences because they easily explain the differences we all face.  They make headlines because the enable one group – generally the older one to paint the other generation with over simplifications. Clay Shirky in his new book Cognitive Surplus evaluates the social context of […]


Category: Leadership Personal Observation Strategic planning Strategy web 2.0     Tags:

Cognitive Surplus from Clay Shirky a book review

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 29, 2010  |  2 Comments

Clay Shirky captured the ethos of social media with his book “Here comes everybody.”  He follows this up that book with one that concentrates on the fundamentals of turning our cognitive surplus into value.  Cognitive Surplus provides a compelling and clear description of the fundamentals of social media and collaboration as well providing recommendations for […]


Category: Book Review Strategy Technology web 2.0     Tags: , , , ,

What is the Production Function of IT?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 27, 2010  |  5 Comments

Understanding IT’s role in the enterprise is complex and incomplete.  IT is the subject of great debate as some see it as the source of competitive advantage and others see it as an enabling function.  CIOs and IT professionals themselves have a tough time answering the question about IT’s role. Why?  because I believe we […]


Category: Leadership Strategic planning Strategy Technology     Tags: , , ,

A model for the Lean IT organization

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 25, 2010  |  5 Comments

In the late 1990’s, CIOs asked about the shape of the IT organization in the face of increased use of outsourcing, business process change and what was called-user development.  The response to those forces was called a ‘lite model of IS’ which became known as IS-Lite.  (Gartner LinkSubscription Required)  (CIO Magazine Link) Today, CIOs are […]


Category: CIO IT Governance Lean Thinking Strategic planning Technology     Tags: , ,

What would you do – another airplane etiquette question

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 23, 2010  |  2 Comments

A while ago I wrote about a conundrum I faced on a flight with a passenger in seat 19A who decided that it was ok to drive the back of his seat into my knee.  I posed the question, what you would do about it. Now I pose another question.  In this case it’s a […]


Category: Personal Observation     Tags:

Ways to keep the Internet from eating away your brain

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 22, 2010  |  1 Comment

There is a spate of books about the brain, the internet and the impact of the internet on your brain.  They all point to the detrimental impacts of working in an interrupt driven, attention demanding and always-on world.  It is true that people are more harried as they try to stay and keep connected with […]

1 Comment »

Category: Personal Observation Technology     Tags: , ,

The Shallows, a review of Nicholas Carr’s latest book

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 19, 2010  |  6 Comments

Nicholas Carr has just published another book and given his prior focus on “Does IT Matter” and discussions about Cloud Computing “The Big Switch”  I am sure that many IT professionls will be interested in this new book “The Shallows: what the internet is doing to our brain.” This will probably be the best known […]


Category: Book Review Personal Observation Technology     Tags: , , ,

Is there one metric that best demonstrates the business value of IT?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 18, 2010  |  8 Comments

The issue of demonstrating the business value of IT is at the top of mind for both CIO’s and other executives as they look to allocate cash and other resources across the enterprise.  The short answer is that right now there is no one metric and the most prevalent one IT budget as a percent […]


Category: budgets CFO CIO Leadership     Tags: , , , , , ,

Its now chic to bash the Internet, raising the ghost of Marshall McLuhan

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 16, 2010  |  1 Comment

It was inevitable, the backlash.  Every revolution has a counter-revolution.  Even the arcade game Dance Dance Revolution, if you watch Robot Chicken on Cartoon Network you know what I mean – Dance Dance Counter Revolution. The summer of 2010 is shaping up to be the summer of ‘the web is melting my brain’ and that […]

1 Comment »

Category: Economy Personal Observation Technology     Tags: , , , ,

The Upside of Irrationality drops the other shoe in behavioral economics, a book review

by Mark P. McDonald  |  June 15, 2010  |  1 Comment

Dan Arliey’s first book Predictably Irrational introduced business leaders to issues of behavior economics when it was released in 2008.  His latest the Upside of Irrationality drops the other shoe in behavioral economics concentrating more on how economic behavior influences issues the context of business and everyday life. This book is a worthy compliment to […]

1 Comment »

Category: Book Review Economy Strategy     Tags: