IT Visionaries

IT Visionaries

Mission

Welcome to IT Visionaries, your #1 source for actionable insights, lessons learned, and exclusive interviews with trailblazing IT leaders. When you subscribe to IT Visionaries, you’ll get two weekly episodes. Each is packed with value, stories, and trends - all directly from leaders on the frontlines of technological innovation.

216 Episodes

  • IT Visionaries

    Three Key Challenges Facing CIOs Today

    43:29

    Sean McDermott likes to say that his claim to fame is that he sent the very first email at the US Department of Justice. And while he enjoys being a part of that footnote in IT history, Sean — now the Founder and CEO of Windward Consulting Group — admits that the tech industry has come a long way since then, and it continues to evolve. Right now, the industry finds itself at an intersection — the government and the private sector have never needed IT more than they do today, and it’s a CIOs job to bring tech where it’s needed most. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Sean discusses the role his company plays in assisting large organizations at scale, solve their IT issues. Plus he explains what CIOs are looking for in today's climate and the future of technology in the workspace. Main Takeaways   You Gotta Spend Money To Make Money: One of the key struggles most CIOs are encountering is the rising cost of IT departments. While the demand for new technology and people to implement this technology continues to grow, the allocated budgets don’t always reflect the demand. Is the Perimeter Secure?: The number one thing that remains top of mind for all technology leaders is the need to have a safe and secure network. As companies have gone remote, the need for IT operations departments to maintain a safe and secure network has never been more important.   So, How About Some Change?: While IT departments are at the forefront of innovation, they still fulfill a lot of the same rudimentary requests — solving ticket requests, security concerns, and employee setup. Artificial intelligence, once fully integrated into IT workflows, will have a greater impact on the rate of evolution within the IT space. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

    Saving Lives With A.I.

    39:54

    Intro Through the first half of 2020, the United States has reported nearly 30,000 gun violence deaths to date. And if you ask Rob Huberty, that number is 30,000 too many. As a former Navy SEAL turned entrepreneur, the rising levels of gun violence each year frustrates him, but now as the Chief Operating Officer of ZeroEyes, Rob is doing something about those numbers. Rob says, “When you see something you think you need, you go create it.” So he did. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Rob discusses how he’s helping to prevent shootings at first sight, rather than first shot. And he also details his journey from a NAVY SEAL to the private sector and the challenges of running a business. Key Takeaways Learning on the Fly: When you embark on the start-up journey, you have to be prepared for anything and willing to do the unglamorous jobs in order to move the business forward.  Be Diligent, Be Patient: When developing datasets for A.I., you have to be both diligent and patient. It’s going to take time to develop the system and teach the algorithm what it needs to look for. Be prepared to put in long hours to ensure your training the system effectively. A Little Less Reactive, A Little More Proactive: Security systems are important, but very reactive. If you’re just deploying basic security systems, you are not preventing a problem — you’re just capturing it. It’s important to be proactive. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

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  • IT Visionaries

    The Acceleration of the Digital Agenda

    43:32

    Digital transformation is a buzzword that’s fun to say hard to grasp. As more and more organizations embark on these technological journeys, are they really being led by the proper steward?  Rich Penkoski, the CEO of Markets for Deloitte Consulting, believes that in order for companies to have a smooth transition,you have to think of it as  a process that involves two key members of the C-Suite. On this episode of IT Visionaries Rich discusses why the CIO and CFO need to play an important role in any digital journey, and how the relationship between those roles continues to evolve. Plus, he digs into the acceleration of the digital agenda brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Main Takeaways A Growing Bond: The relationship between the CIO and CFO continues to grow in importance, especially when it comes to finding creative solutions to manage ROI while finding agile solutions Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads: The pace at which companies are being forced to implement digital transformations has been expedited. Because the process has been sped up, there is a tremendous burden being put on access to capital. Apple Easy, Google Fast:  IT professionals must now perform their work under the assumption that software must be easy and fast. Because of this new mindset, IT professionals must have a broader understanding of the profession, while being able to freely move across technologies. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

    Taking the Baton: How One Company is Solving Your Post-Sale Pain Points

    31:24

    When Alex Krug was an executive at Behance, he noticed that quite a few tools had been developed to help encourage signups and onboard customers, but once they were working with the product, there was very little help offered. This was a problem he thought he could help solve, which is why he founded Baton. Today, as the founder and CEO of Baton, Alex is helping people streamline their actual workflow with automation and on this episode of IT Visionaries, he explains exactly what that looks like. Plus, he dives into his entrepreneurial journey and what it means to grow a company. Like so many startups, the idea for Baton stemmed from a pain point that founder and CEO Alex Krug experienced first-hand. During his days as an executive with Behance, which was later sold and acquired by creative giant Adobe, workflow.   Main Takeaways   Ouch! That Hurts!: When you’re looking to help companies scale, you need to identify their pain points. Understand the problems that are preventing them from growing. Don’t just throw more people at a problem in order fix-it. Think it through and fully understand the solution. Once you understand those problems, you can help that company grow.   Post-game: A lot of platforms are built to onboard clients and geared toward customer retention. Baton is designed to streamline the post-sale process to help companies automate and streamline their workflows. The A-Team: When attempting to grow a company, employee retention is of the utmost most important. If you can keep a team together long enough to see your original mission through, you’re on a pathway to success. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

    Good vs Bad: How to Develop a Bot that Works For You Not Against You

    46:27

    Every company has a breaking point. A moment when an organization realizes it is overwhelmed by an avalanche of inbound calls and emails that bombard personnel with the same rudimentary questions over -and over again. It’s a vexing problem that resembles a scene from Groundhog Day, where team members feel as if they are constantly reliving the same day. But what if there was an easy data-powered solution to this problem? David Karandish is the CEO of Capacity, a company on a mission to solve those pain points through the power of A.I. On this episode of IT Visionaries, David details how the Capacity platform is eliminating common issues by using conversational intelligence and he explains why not all chatbots are serviceable.  Key Takeaways Does Not Compute: Not enough companies are using full-fledged platforms for their A.I. needs. When companies rely on single-use chatbots, those services are not able to escalate conversations to the next level. Instead, there is forced human interaction that otherwise is not needed with conversational intelligence. Build vs. Buy: When embarking on a digital transformation, the first question should always be if you should build your own software or simply buy an out-of-the-box solution If the software is not core to your business, don’t invest resources into it. Evolution of A.I.: The next step for A.I. is to become less reactive and more proactive. As more companies begin to utilize A.I. technologies, the wealth of data produced will continue to grow. Over the next few years, A.I. can go from simply answering questions, to being able to solve tasks for users. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

    Combining A.I. with Human Intelligence to Solve One of Humanity's Biggest Problems

    44:38

    What happens when you combine A.I. with human intelligence? One answer is that you get Unbabel, a machine translation service on a mission to solve one of humanity’s most vexing challenges: language barriers. At Unbabel, the ultimate goal is to be able  to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world regardless of their native language. But to achieve that lofty goal we need data, we need translators and we need them to work together. João Graca is the Co-founder and CTO of Unbabel and on this episode of IT Visionaries, he discusses how his company is working to bring those two sides together to get closer to a future when we can rely on machine translation. Key Takeaways A Long Way to Go: While there has been a lot of progress with machine translation, there still is a long way to go. Translation services, like Google Translate, have the ability to comprehend words and sentences, but understanding full phrases and rare words remains a struggle. Unbabel works in real-time with machine translation and in-house translators to efficiently translate emails and marketing materials We Need Data and Need it Now: One of the biggest challenges when it comes to machine translation is the lack of data, especially in uncommon languages. Data from popular languages are used to help decipher sentences and phrases. When we don’t constantly have an influx of data, that challenge becomes greater. You Just Don’t Understand: if we don’t utilize both data and translators to grow machine translation, the intelligence will continue to be stagnant. The biggest issue right now is companies hiring in-house translators, which is not efficient, doesn’t increase the amount of open source data, and is incredibly expensive for companies. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

    The Path to Becoming a CIO, with Intervision’s Jeff Ton

    45:53

    Jeff Ton is honest and direct when he says nobody grows up wanting to be a CIO. If you ask Jeff, he’ll say he thought he’d be a rockstar, touring the backroads of the country in a van, playing gigs on weeknights. That was always the plan...until an impulse purchase of a Commodore 64 changed Jeff’s path forever. Jeff is now a multi-time CIO, currently serving as an IT Strategy Advisor at InterVision and the Founder of Ton Enterprises and he joined IT Visionaries to take us through his journey. On this episode, Jeff provides insights into the role of the CIO and divulges some of the key questions current CIOs are trying to find answers to, including those surrounding diversity.  Key Takeaways Embed Yourself in the Business: In order for IT professionals to advance their careers, they need to begin taking on a larger role within the organization. That includes having a better understanding of how the business operates and how technology is deployed across all departments. Go Where the Talent is: In order to diversify your teams, you need to go where diverse candidates are. It’s important to familiarize yourself with alternate avenues to pursue candidates that are outside the traditional recruiting grounds, and it’s even more important to know how to connect with those candidates. Once you find those team members, the next step is to make sure they feel empowered in their workspace. A Man with a Plan: If you’re a new CIO, you need to have a 60- to 90-day plan, but understand that plan will change. During those first few months, you are going to do a lot of learning on the job. Have honest conversations with your team members and stakeholders and understand how they can help you succeed in your new role. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

    How Good Karma Empowered Credit Karma with co-founder and CTO Ryan Graciano

    49:22

    Ryan Graciano remembers the early days of Credit Karma like they just happened. Born in the midst of a financial crisis, Credit Karma’s rise to significance didn’t seem certain, and Ryan remembers thinking to himself numerous times, “Are we going to make it?” Today, Credit Karma serves more than 100 million users, and provides consumers with tools that empower them to take the biggest financial steps in their lives. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Ryan discusses the early turbulence the company endured, how he leads through trying times, and how Credit Karma is helping in more ways than just by providing credit scores. Key Takeaways Confidence Breeds Success: Be confident in your product. If you aren’t confident and passionate about the product you are bringing to market, the trying times will be much more difficult. Ryan details how Credit Karma, born in the midst of the financial crisis, overcame their trials and tribulations For the Long Haul: As a CTO and company leader, you have to constantly be thinking about what comes next. When obstacles arise, you need to have already discussed with your leadership team about possible alternatives. If you are not actively thinking about how things will fail, your company will fail. Teamwork Makes the Dream work: The most important thing for any co-founder is having a solid support system. When Credit Karma started, Ryan was a one-man crew. Once the company began to expand, he focused on people that could magnify his skills while also expanding the product. Invest in good people and listen to your team and have faith in your decisions --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

    Why Your Code is My Code with Sonatype’s Vice President Derek Week’s

    48:52

    Derek Weeks has spent his entire career teaching, educating, and fostering relationships. From his first job with Atari teaching people how to use its consoles, to his role today as a Vice President and DevOps advocate at Sonatype, Derek works to educate others. Derek joined IT Visionaries for a conversation centered on the growth of the DevOps industry and how he is helping to grow that community through All Day DevOps, an online 24-hour conference featuring more than 100 speakers. Key Takeaways   A Growing Industry: Five years ago if 1,000 people attended a developer’s conference it was considered a success. Now, more than 40,000 developers routinely attend All Day DevOps conferences. More Widely-Adopted, But Not Flawless: The use of open-source code continues to rise in popularity due to its velocity and efficiency, but it’s not without vulnerabilities, downloads that included encrypted code, or malware  Seeking Clarity: Many companies still fail to understand exactly what DevOps is, where DevOps can be used, and the benefits of the DevOps industry. Therefore, a lot of education still needs to happen internally as well as externally.  --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
  • IT Visionaries

    How the Magic Pocket Task Force Changed Dropbox

    40:32

    More than likely you have uttered the phrase, “Yeah, I’ll just Dropbox that to you.” The turn of phrase has become so popular thanks to the capabilities Dropbox has offered to the masses. People around the world can share and store documents, pictures and information simply by dragging a file into a folder. But how does that file get stored, and how do those precious items live in a space that seems almost endless? Andrew Fong is the Vice President of Infrastructure at Dropbox, and on this episode of IT Visionaries, Andrew dives into the nitty-gritty of how he helps keep those mementos accessible anywhere. Plus he describes how a small task force formed in 2013 shaped the future of Dropbox forever and the importance of scale. Key Takeaways Keep Your Data Close and Your Servers Closer: By building its own data servers, Dropbox was able to eliminate its reliance on third-party servers like AWS. When you control your servers, you’re able to manage the amount of data you intake and, in return, how you use that data.  Core Strength: Think about the items that are core to the foundation of your business and then invest in those things. For Dropbox, one of those core functions is the need for its system to be reliable and durable. If you don’t understand what the core principles of your business are you can’t invest in the right things Time to Reload: Once a project is up and running, you need to make sure your team remains invested and energized. Don’t wait too long to switch things up. If team members are excited about other opportunities, give them those chances. --- IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform

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