Mark McDonald

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Archives for August, 2010

How CIOs present choice makes all the difference in the world.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 31, 2010  |  3 Comments

CIOs and their IT teams can unnecessarily limit their influence and options in ways that seem small, but have major consequences.  Take for example  how you present options.  IT is as much about decision making as it is about cost effective operations or innovative solutions which makes shaping and presenting options a critical management activity […]


Category: CFO CIO IT Governance Strategy     Tags: , , , ,

Power shift! What happens when consumers drive technology markets.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 30, 2010  |  9 Comments

There was a time when IT was driven by enterprise demands and consumers had little or no influence in shaping technology.  In fact consumers were relegated to a different industry group – consumer electronics, which was the home of underpowered devices with closed architectures and limited commercial applicability. The very structure of the technology marketplace […]


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

How you would hope every Board Chairman and CEO would talk about IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 23, 2010  |  1 Comment

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of working with the IT leadership team of a $20 billion global company.  I was the guest of the CFO and CIO.  Toward the end of the first day of the meeting the company’s Chairman of the Board and their CEO joined the meeting.  Each spoke for […]

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Category: CFO CIO Strategic planning Strategy     Tags: , , , ,

The structures required for supporting the next generation enterprise and CIO.

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

The prior post concentrated on definition the future of the CIO as having responsibility for the enterprise-operating model.  It is all well and good to stake out a new territory, but its all just words until you are able to back it up with organizational structures and resources.   That is the focus of this post. […]

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Category: CFO CIO Leadership Technology     Tags: , ,

The future of the CIO lies in addressing a challenge no one else is thinking about

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 17, 2010  |  8 Comments

There are many ways to define the future role of the CIO. You can define them in terms of amplifying their current responsibilities.  The CIO as uber technologist. You can define them in terms of filling gaps in their current responsibilities.  The CIO as enterprise change agent. You can define the role as converging with […]


Category: CFO CIO Strategic planning Strategy Technology     Tags: , , , ,

Why the back office may never fully understand the front office.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 12, 2010  |  10 Comments

Every company has tension between its front and back offices.  You can describe that tension as the difference between what customer’s want/expect and what the company is able to deliver economically.  Filling the gap between the two is a collection of hard working people, exceptions, accommodations, deals and the like that make things work. We […]


Category: Strategic planning Strategy Technology     Tags: , ,

Choosing a college computer when PCs all fall close to the tree and in a giant pile

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 11, 2010  |  1 Comment

Our niece is going away to college.  She is the next to last of our nieces and nephews to go and we wanted to help her out by buying her a laptop for college.  So began a quest of scanning the websites, CNET, the news paper offers, etc all to find the best combination of […]

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Category: Personal Observation Technology     Tags: , , ,

IT Infrastructure has been among your most productive assets

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 10, 2010  |  1 Comment

Productivity is measured by the output created for a particular set of inputs.  Productivity ahs been a real sticking point for CFO’s related to IT.  Most have sought to ‘raise’ IT productivity by reducing IT resources – the denominator at the expense of the numerator – results. Concentrating on managing the denominator tells less than […]

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Category: Technology Uncategorized     Tags: , , , , , ,

A tale of Pizza, Value and what it means for IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 9, 2010  |  1 Comment

This is a story about the ‘best’ pizza I will choose never to eat again. Last week I tried the new local pizzeria as they provided a gift certificate as part of its welcome to the neighborhood promotion.  So I called the number and this is what I got Silence “Hello?” “Yeah what do you […]

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Category: Leadership Strategy     Tags: , ,

McKinsey updates their tech-enabled business trends to watch.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  August 5, 2010  |  8 Comments

McKinsey has increased its focus on technology and IT as a strategic force, which is a good thing and reflects the changing dynamic related to information, technology and their contribution to the enterprise.  As part of that move, they have updated their technology enabled business trends in a recent article.  Link to McKinsey Article: […]


Category: Uncategorized     Tags: