Mark McDonald

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Archives for November, 2011

Avoid the trap of false precision

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 30, 2011  |  2 Comments

Precision is the enemy of IT value and a root cause of why it is so hard to measure IT’s.  About the only thing that you can prove with precision is that is not wasting money. Precision requires that specific investments that produce pre-defined and specific results.  You want to produce more widgets, then you […]


Category: CFO CIO Management     Tags: , , ,

Has your IT Strategy become obscured by Clouds?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 28, 2011  |  3 Comments

Just about everyone is talking about or moving into the cloud and that is ok.  But when it comes to your IT strategy, the cloud is a red herring.  A red herring is distraction, something that deliberately draws attention away from things that are more important.  In the case of the cloud, it is taking […]


Category: 2012 Cloud Strategic planning Strategy Technology     Tags: , , , , , , ,

What I learned from CIOs at Gartner’s first Symposium in India

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 25, 2011  |  1 Comment

This past week marked a milestone as Gartner brought its symposium format to India for the first time.  More than 1,000 Indian IT professionals met in Mumbai to learn, discussion, participate and contribute to each other on issues ranging from cloud computing to the future of IT itself.  Between the presentations, workshops and 1 on […]

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Category: 2012 CIO Economy Leadership Management Strategic planning     Tags: , , , , ,

The Degrees of Digitization

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

Digital technologies are changing reality in ways that we cannot predict and at an ever increasing pace that leave even the digital generation in the dust.  Eric Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAffee discuss this in their new book Race Against the Machine (link to a review) and offer the prediction that we have not really seen […]

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Category: 2012 Strategy Technology     Tags: , , , ,

Welcome to Gartner’s Inaugural Indian Symposium

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 20, 2011  |  Comments Off

Monday marks the start of the first Gartner Symposium in India.  Initiating a full-blown symposium in India reflects the importance of the country and its companies in the business and technology world.  Its understandable how IT professionals living outside of India might see the subcontinent as the capital of outsourcing, managed service and fail to […]

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Category: IT Governance Management Strategy Technology     Tags: , , ,

Do you see a little John Scully in yourself?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 19, 2011  |  Comments Off

I am reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, no surprise there as many people are doing so.  In one of the earlier chapters, Isaacson describes the relationship between John Scully and Steve Jobs as one where Scully kept seeing himself in Job’s actions and behaviors.  He was living under the impression, for a while, […]

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Category: Innovation Leadership Management Personal Observation     Tags:

Are you doing the dishes? Time to check your IT strategy before it becomes an IT plan.

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 17, 2011  |  3 Comments

Business relevance and alignment is a persistent issue in IT and a challenge for CIOs.  In this year’s CIO agenda presentations at Gartner Symposium these issues were discussed and measured based on CIO business priorities and plans.    The 2011 CIO survey looked at this issue and we described it in an analogy that IT believes […]


Category: 2012 CFO CIO IT Governance Leadership Strategic planning Strategy     Tags: , , , ,

Are you leaving your project managers stranded on an island?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 16, 2011  |  Comments Off

Project management performance and capability is a perennial issue among IT leaders.  Project management is critical to the success of IT and the organization.   Given the dismal rate of project success, one can call the competence of project managers into question. Just about every, conversation I have about project management centers on what is wrong […]

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Category: Management Personal Observation Signs of weak management     Tags: , , ,

How can you tell when you are being administrative rather than action oriented?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  November 14, 2011  |  1 Comment

Every organization has administrative work.  It needs to be done and done right even if it is not directly touching the customer, creating value, or saving resources. Administrative work can be characterized as work that follows a prescriptive process to produce a predictable result and a predefined value to the organization. Do your job, your […]

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Category: Leadership Management     Tags: , , , ,

Welcome to Gartner Symposium at Australia’s Gold Coast

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

Technology is perhaps the most global of all industries.  OEMs and contract manufacturers in Asia Pacific, work with operating software developed on the West Coast of America, enterprise systems originating in Europe and innovation coming from everywhere. Technology trends are also global as proven practices travel at the speed of the web to companies all […]

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Category: CIO Leadership Management Re-imagine IT     Tags: , ,