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How should startups look to sell to CIOs?

Top Answer: First and foremost, really work on your messaging and positioning. It’s easy to get enamored with the technology how instead of the strategic why - why is this important to them and why should they listen to you. If you can’t articulate that in a couple of minutes, you don’t want to go talk to a CIO.

Once you have that, it’s about finding the right warm introductions, or reaching out to meet if you’ll be at the same conference/event and just having a conversation. Hard selling doesn’t work. Find out what they are working on, what their priorities are, and then if applicable work it in. Take a trusted advisor approach instead of a cold email or call, which may work sometimes but certainly doesn’t scale.

20852 views
25 comments
61 upvotes
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Digitizing Customer ExperienceDigitizing Customer Experience

This survey was created to help IT executives understand how companies are prioritizing the digital experience of customers.

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2 comments
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What are the top KPIs for IT for the next 3 years?

Top Answer: I think it should be a lot more elastic. Businesses are changing rapidly and what’s important to measure and improve today is likely not important or measurable next year. Long-term KPIs have the danger of being rear-facing rather than forward-facing or predicting. CIOs need to collaborate with their C-Suite peers to drive business KPIs and metrics that matter to them to move the business forward and increase revenue.

21632 views
32 comments
31 upvotes
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Do you have remote employees on your team?

Top Answer: 5 of my 6 directs are remote.

13081 views
24 comments
133 upvotes
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What are organizations using for annual employee performance evaluations and tracking leadership development progress? 

Top Answer: If anyone is using or has evaluated a commercial solution, i would appreciate the specifics.. 

9838 views
32 comments
6 upvotes
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Who decides how much security risk to take for a specific system?

Top Answer: I believe this to be a combined effort between the system owner, CIO and Board/CEO. The system owner should always try to secure a system the best available tools, however, resources and budget might change the avaibility of this tools

1866 views
18 comments
3 upvotes
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Data InfrastructureData Infrastructure

This survey is a view into data growth and storage within companies.

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1 comments
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Identity and Access Management in EDUIdentity and Access Management in EDU

What are the top IT priorities for companies in the education sector? Over 100 CIOs in the Pulse community shared their insights.

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2 comments
1 upvotes
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As a large enterprise, why do you engage with startups and how do you choose the right ones?

Top Answer: It's not a secret that engaging with startups and emerging technologies is crucial for every business. It's no longer about being good enough, it's about being the best and taking advantage of new products and innovations comes with the territory. My primary motivation to engage with startups is to deliver business value at Flex. My secondary motivation is to learn from people smarter than me (the entrepreneurs I meet) about the latest technologies, products, and solutions being created to shape the future of enterprises.

Our business priorities are very clear and we work as a team to figure out which technologies (and then companies) will help us drive our goals. This top-down approach is methodical - we have a budget and a structured approach on how to work with vendors (big or small) to select the right one. The bottom-up approach is equally important, and requires a team that is passionate about technology to make it work. One example for us is that, as a team, we spend a few hours every Friday morning learning about new technologies, products, and innovations that may be helpful for us. We then come together as a team and share our learnings. If one or more products stand out, we dig deeper and explore how we can leverage it at Flex.

Regardless of top-down or bottom-up, seeing a meaningful ROI is generally important to us. That doesn't always hold true, but these are rare exceptions, not the rule.
Startups we engage with have a few things in common:
  • We get to know the team before we get to know the product because we're betting on the people and the vision as much as the product. How strong is their technology, sales, and executive team?
  • Is the product easy to use and does it have an adoption strategy in place?
  • And finally, in return for us coming in as an early customer, are they willing to have us shape their product and roadmap to fit our needs?
With thousands of startups, it can be daunting to figure out the right ones to engage with, but a few channels have been helpful to curate the best — my peer network (we exchange emails on a weekly basis), curated online IT communities that go beyond what traditional analysts provide, and working with select VCs like a16z, Lightspeed, and others.

21768 views
19 comments
20 upvotes
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How do you balance spending on innovation vs. core business needs?

Top Answer: To me, there is no right answer here and experience certainly plays a role along with the kind of business you are in. I think what is important though is to consistently set aside a portion of your budget to invest in emerging technologies. This continuous experimentation has multiple benefits to the IT organization and the business:
  • It sets up a culture that is always ready for change. Continuous exposure forces us to question status quo and this helps keep complacency at bay.
  • Even if the experiment doesn’t have immediate value, it’s never a waste. Someone from the business inevitably asks about something they read or come across and experiments give us the depth to answer confidently and maintain the trust the business puts in us.

36098 views
32 comments
20 upvotes
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How did you make your transition to the cloud? What worked and what didn't work?

Top Answer: At Palantir, we moved all on prem servers to the cloud (AWS) but did it all as code (as opposed to configuration). There are several reasons for doing it this way and this approach while not new is recently gaining more traction. The idea here is don’t configure anything in your infra, instead describe the end state you want using a declarative language like terraform and then let the tools build the infrastructure for you. This is contrary to the classical approach where it is a combination of code, interspersed with manual config, resulting in fragile infrastructure.
By using this approach, we:
  1. are somewhat cloud agnostic (as to the infra is described in a language that works with all major cloud providers)
  2. don’t have any administrator as a single point of failure
  3. have infra that is repeatable and consistent across environments
  4. have a process that is fully integrated it with VCS, CI/CD so there is continuous deployment and automatic tracking of all changes

38011 views
25 comments
16 upvotes
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SIEM Vendors - Have you used or evaluated?

Top Answer: SolarWinds and Splunk

1585 views
27 comments
7 upvotes
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Does Digital Transformation mean getting rid of legacy?

Top Answer: Not necessarily. It depends on your definition of legacy, but more important, is the technology or business process labeled as 'legacy' inhibiting the company's strategic plans. If the legacy is creating a poor customer experience, is difficult to upgrade, can't easily be integrated with other applications or data sources, is exhibiting poor performance, requires lots of people to support, or has risky security holes then there probably is good reason/rational to want to get rid of it.

Even if the answer is yes, then organizations can't replace all their legacy issues at once. It requires roadmapping. More often than not, it requires maintaining legacy systems for sometime.

There are cases where legacy isn't bad or needs to be replaced. If the technology is stable, does its job well, and is not a barrier to business needs then there's little reason to get rid of it.

25267 views
40 comments
16 upvotes
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What do you do with unsolicited vendor gifts?

Top Answer: Depends on what it is!

5452 views
21 comments
6 upvotes
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I am increasingly having to present to our board and it’s not always the best experience. Do you have any advice on how best to approach a company board that is not technical at all?

Top Answer:

My board experience has primarily been with board members that are not technical. The approach I take is to "translate" technical bits into business impact information. It seems many non-technical board members care most about how to improve the business, not what is driving the improvement.

As an example, if I am requesting approval for a workload migration to public cloud (AWS/Azure) I keep all the technicalities out of the presentation and focus on business impact. Ie. Increases in revenue opportunity, cost savings, safety/security, positive impact to existing and future clients, and positive impact to internal departments such as Sales, and Finance.

I always include a business level discussion about compliance, risk management, and security as this seems to be top of mind.

In summary, skip all the technical details, translate into business benefits. After all, if there were not any business benefits, should you be doing it?

This takes a significant amount of thought and planning and if done, you as an IT leader will reap the benefits of a better board relationship, more "approvals" to proceed with projects, and the opportunity to grow your professional skills. It does work!

28953 views
53 comments
34 upvotes
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Why is Google Cloud losing to Azure and AWS?

Top Answer: Amazon is the leader in the cloud and Microsoft Azure with its large Office 365 is not far behind. Without a major disruptive force that can change this, Google will be trailing in this space. I think that Google can catch up if it changes its focus to creating a true enterprise cloud that satisfies the needs of the customer. Google has the technology and resources but lacks focus.

50186 views
61 comments
13 upvotes
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