Category Archives: Blog

Exploring CIO Superpowers, Skills, Tactics, and Strategies with Bill Granger

This episode is sponsored by the CIO Scoreboard

My conversation with Bill Granger, CTO of Walker & Dunlop, continues down my path of exploring superpowers, skills, strategies and tactics that make top A+ Chief Information Officers succeed.

As I reviewed the transcript of my conversation with Bill, I was reminded that as you progress in your career, the truly successful transition is from I/me success, to we/us, to helping others succeed.

Major Take-Aways From This Episode:

  • How to influence and lead positively as one of the core foundation skills
  • The role of exercise for busy, successful leaders
  • Paying attention to experimental and disruptive technologies
  • The huge impact of finding a mentor and being a mentor
  • The importance of continuous learning
  • Unique project management skills I loved
  • How to pitch solutions using strong financial literacy
  • Fun story of the flea at [42:00]

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CIO Innovation Insider Vlog #1: Innovative Hadoop Testing

RedZone Technologies CEO Bill Murphy kicks off the CIO Innovation Insider Video Blog (Vlog) series with some quick tips on innovating technical services with Hadoop.

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I just left a meeting with one of my CIO friends that came to the Innovation Insider lunch last week, and he actually came to the technical breakfast as well.

I wanted to get into some of the specifics. I wanted to give you guys a couple quick tips that I learned from him, that I wanted to share.

Number one, regarding innovation, listen to his tagline, he had it written on his white-board. He wants to make technical services, make it measurable and relevant for his organization. He wants his group to be the center of innovation. I thought that was cool, he had that written down on his whiteboard.

-In addition to that, he explained to me about a test that he recently did and I love the concept of tests because it brings an entrepreneurial mindset to the CIO role and to technical services within a company. He had tested a new cluster by just taking five cheap workstations, that were being sun-setted off of administrative assistant desktops, and he went and bought a one terabit drive and linked them together and he started to test. Basically they crunched through reams and reams of data; it takes a day for the data to crunch and get back to his analysts typically, and his goal is to get it back in an hour. And he is using Hadoop to test this. And of course using CentOS and some other tools that he is using, as well on that.

It’s completely something that is low-stress, low-headache for his business, because it’s cheap and he can test it. And he can really make that thesis come true of driving the technical services people from being able to do billable work and not wait that full day and try to drive that down to an hour. So, that’s what he’s trying to do. I thought that might be a nice digestible tip for you with innovation and testing of Hadoop.

Thanks, and until next time. I appreciate all of you for listening.

What Is the Best Next Generation Firewall Product?

What is the best next generation Firewall product? This is a big question.

It is mostly based on numbers of users. When you have many users on the same Firewall, UTM Firewalls are the best option. They are now integrated with built-in IPS . UTM firewalls, or Next Generation Firewalls (whatever marketing wants to call them), are not port-based and are so fast these days that you can certainly buy the feature set that handles URL inspection, IPS, SSL inspection, etc.

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How to Win as a CIO and Financial Leader – with Bob Fecteau, CIO of SAIC

This episode is sponsored by the CIO Scoreboard

My guest for this episode is Bob Fecteau who is the CIO of SAIC. SAIC is a 15000 employee, $4.0 billion publicly-traded company.

He is one of the four top people who travel to Wall Street to report on the company performance along with the CEO, CFO and COO. He signs off on the SOX control documents for his publicly-traded company.

From my perspective of working with and interviewing hundreds of CIOs, he is a visionary, and is one of the best in the profession. He is a giver who wants to elevate the whole profession and share his wisdom. Continue reading

What Makes A World Class Innovation Lab? Experian DataLabs and Eric Haller

This episode is sponsored by the CIO Scoreboard

I am excited to share with you my conversation with Eric Haller as this is the first time I have had someone on the show that is in charge of a major innovation lab so our conversation will give you a window of visibility into several areas.

Major Take-Aways From This Episode:

  • Why he believes that “Ruthless Competency Wins”.
  • Innovation is more powerful when linked to a higher purpose.
  • Managing an innovation portfolio and the development of the Intellectual property comes out of these efforts.
  • The organizational structure he reports to.
  • The culture of Experian from the types of people Eric hires as well as the culture of the Experian business as it supports the development efforts of the Innovation Lab.
  • LDA – Machine Learning Techniques.
  • Latent Dirichlet Allocation.
  • Unsupervised and supervised Machine Learning.
    • Unsupervised is based on recognizing patterns.
    • Supervised – modelling known outcomes.

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The New MBA – “Masters of Business Ambiguity” – with Lisa Kay Solomon

This episode is sponsored by the CIO Scoreboard

My guest for this episode is Lisa Kay Solomon. If you are into Design Thinking, expanding you leadership skills, innovation, want to learn how to be agile, flexible, nimble and execute both personally and collaboratively with your teams as an IT Business leader, this conversation is for you.

The reason that I asked Lisa onto the show is that she is one of the foremost experts in Design Thinking. Continue reading

Offense versus Defense – ‘A’ Class CIO’s Evaluate the Impact of Blockchain Now

Blockchain is another example of an exponential hard trend that is becoming disruptive rather quickly. Not only are we seeing the projected influence of Blockchain in our daily lives, but the implications for its use in business are incredible.

I want to share with you a number of resources about Blockchain that I have found to be very interesting, but also groundbreaking for me. As an IT leader you must get a handle on this technology that has the potential to revolutionize, well, everything.

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Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World – with Alex Tapscott

This episode is sponsored by the CIO Scoreboard

My guest this week is Alex Tapscott. Alex is the co-author of the critically acclaimed non-fiction bestseller Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World. A Definitive Guide for Business IT Leaders, this book is “on how to survive and thrive in this next wave of technology-driven disruption. Likely to become one of the iconic books of our time.” (Clay Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma)

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AI Safety in Cyber Security | AI Decision Making | Wireheading | AI Chatbot Privacy – with Roman Yampolskiy

This episode is sponsored by the CIO Scoreboard

My guest for the most recent episode was an AI expert Roman Yampolskiy. While listening to our conversation, you will fine-tune your understanding of AI from a safety perspective. Those of you who have decision- making authority in the IT Security world will appreciate Roman’s viewpoint on AI Safety.

Major Take-Aways From This Episode:

1) Wire heading or Mental Illness with Machines – Miss aligned objectives/incentives for example what happens when a sales rep is told to sell more new customers, but ignores profits. Now you have more customers but less profit. Or you tell your reps to sell more products and possibly forsake the long term relationship value of the customer. There are all sorts of misaligned incentives and Roman makes this point with AIs.
2) I can even draw a parallel with coaching my girls’ teams where I have incented them to combine off each other because I want this type of behavior. This can also go against you because you end up becoming really good at passing but not scoring goals to win.
3) AI Decision making: The need for AIs to be able to explain themselves and how they arrived at their decisions.
4) The IT Security implications of AI Chat bots and Social Engineering attacks.
5) The real danger of Human Level AGI Artificial General intelligence.
6) How will we communicate with systems that are smarter than us? We already have a hard time communicating with dogs, for example, how will this work out with AIs and humans?
7) Why you can’t wait to develop AI safety mechanisms until there is a problem…..We should remember that seat belts were a good idea the day the first car was driven down the road, but weren’t mandated till 60 years after…
8) The difference between AI safety and Cybersecurity. Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence as a Super-Assistant to Cyber Security to Cyber Security Intelligence

In the next few years we will see the emergence of exponential technologies that, when implemented in unison, will greatly improve cyber security. One example that is relevant for CIOs is the joining of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data to help executives visualize cyber intelligence information to improve decision-making and better target IT investments.

Big Data offers enormous opportunity, but there are two core issues that need to be addressed. One problem with Big Data is that often we do not know how to interpret the data. When we do, it usually gets passed from expert to executive in a way that does not necessarily provide a better understanding of the information, or how it can be applied to the problem at hand.

The second issue is that often we do not know how to best interact with the data that we are interpreting. The days of 100-page data summaries are nearing an end. We now need effective and streamlined solutions to limit these inefficiencies. Continue reading