Mark McDonald

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Archives for March, 2011


It’s time to start talking about the ‘middle office’

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 30, 2011  |  8 Comments

Many people think of a business as consisting of a front office, which markets, sells and serves customers and a back office that fulfills demand and handles operations.  The dichotomy of front vs. back is the basis how we think of everything from compensation structures and rewards (front office) to information systems (back office) and [...]

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Category: 2011 Applications Management Strategy     Tags: , , , ,

The courage it takes to be customer focused

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 27, 2011  |  1 Comment

Customer focus, thinking outside-in, walking in the customer’s shoes are all slogans used to encourage people and companies to adopt more customer focused strategies and operations. While this is all well and good, it got me thinking about what it really takes to be customer focused and one word came to mind COURAGE That may [...]

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Category: Leadership Management Personal Observation Strategy     Tags: , , , ,

Disrupt – Think the Unthinkable: a Book Review

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 25, 2011  |  2 Comments

Disruption is an essential part of your global economy and in fact a theme for this year’s CIO Leadership Forums in Phoenix and London.  So the topic is on the mind of many executives and managers. There are many books that say you need to ‘disrupt’ your business to remain competitive.  There are almost no [...]

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Category: Book Review Re-imagine IT Strategic planning Strategy     Tags: , , , , ,

My reflections on Gartner’s 2011 CIO leadership forum in Phoenix

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 23, 2011  |  Comments Off

Creative destruction was the theme of this year’s CIO leadership forum reflecting the essence of the challenge facing CIOs around the world. The event represented a significant opportunity for more than 350 CIOs to work together on their challenges and the requirements for leading in a future that demands: growth and continued cost containment, innovation without additional [...]

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Category: 2011 CIO Innovation Leadership Management Personal Observation Re-imagine IT     Tags: , , , , ,

The big when for IT is now

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 22, 2011  |  3 Comments

For the first time in nearly 10 years IT has the ability to use technology change to reposition itself and its role in the enterprise.  The existence of light weight technologies such as social media, cloud, etc. give IT the potential to slip the bonds that have been holding it back and keeping it in [...]

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Category: 2011 Leadership Management Re-imagine IT Strategic planning     Tags: , , , ,

Re-imagining IT’s strategic relevance by applying creative destruction

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 21, 2011  |  Comments Off

IT’s strategic relevance is always the subject of great debate. It is interlinked with issues of business alignment, the strength of the business relationship and the value of IT. It is an area ready for re-imagination in order to reduce strategic inflammation. CIOs responding to the Gartner 2011 CIO Survey indicated that they felt their [...]

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Category: 2011 Re-imagine IT Strategic planning Strategy     Tags: , , , ,

Apply ‘creative destruction’ to re-imagine IT

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 18, 2011  |  7 Comments

Re-imagining IT involves changing a few fundamental assumptions and factors that reset the context of IT, its operations and contribution to the business. Re-imagining reflects the reality of the technical, business and management changes facing CIOs.  The cloud, drive for growth and need to accelerate cycle times all require keeping much of what makes IT [...]

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Category: 2011 Leadership Management Strategy     Tags: , , , , , ,

Intent and Information extend IT’s solution and innovation envelope

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 16, 2011  |  2 Comments

How do you identify new opportunities for IT to create value?  It’s a complex question, in part because IT can create value in many ways and often ways it is not trained to see.  The result is that IT often identifies new solutions in terms of the solutions they already know – or by making [...]

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Category: Innovation Technology Tools     Tags: ,

Redefining the High Tech Hierarchy – a sign of the deep changes going in Tech

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 14, 2011  |  Comments Off

Who is in an industry defines that industry.  When the definitions of the major players change it often indicates a seismic shift in industry priorities and structure.  Over the past two months there has been a subtle but important change in the definition of high technology companies.  A shift is happening and is being recorded [...]

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Category: 2011 Economy Personal Observation Technology     Tags: ,

Its time for the business to play for fun

by Mark P. McDonald  |  March 11, 2011  |  2 Comments

There is a difference between playing for food and playing for fun.  I mentioned that analogy in an earlier series of blog posts as one of the reasons between the observed disconnect between the IT organization and the business.  The idea here is that the business plays for ‘food’ as they are likely to lose [...]

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Category: Uncategorized     Tags: