76. The role of the Chief Information Officer in the Future of Work | Michael Krigsman, industry analyst and publisher of CXOTalk


Michael Krigsman | Industry analyst and publisher of CXOTalk


This is our third and last chance to connect with industry analyst and publisher of CXOTalkMichael Krigsman. Over the past two podcasts, we have discussed how the role of the CIO is evolving, we’ve looked at where they need to stretch themselves to overcome today’s hurdles and we’ve focused on the differences between cloud-native and established companies. 
Finally in Episode 76 we look at the metaverse, TikTok, and what makes Michael tick.


Michael Krigsman pic


Michael has written over 1,000 pieces on leadership, technology, and transformation; he has created almost 1,000 video interviews with the world’s top business leaders on these topics. Michael’s work has been referenced in the media over 1,000 times and in over fifty books. Michael has advised enterprise technology companies for three decades on market messaging and positioning strategy. 




[00:00:00] - Michael Krigsman
Digital transformation needs to have tentacles across the company. How are we placing our customers at the center of what we do?

[00:00:17] - Doug Foulkes
Hello, and welcome to episode 76 of Chaos & Rocket Fuel: The Future of Work Podcast. This is the podcast that's all about the future of work and it's brought to you by WNDYR.

[00:00:28] - Doug Foulkes
Claire Haidar is my co-host and the big boss at WNDYR. Claire, we've got one more chance to catch up with Michael Krigsman, he's the host at CXOTalk. What are we talking about in this final section?

[00:00:41] - Claire Haidar
If you look at the overall, the three segments, the overall conversation that we're having with Michael, it's about what future forward CIOs are really thinking about in terms of the future of work and how that's practically playing out in their roles and actually changing their roles. This segment is specifically about the actual practical application of that.

[00:01:05] - Claire Haidar
So we asked Michael questions like, what are some companies not considering that they really should be thinking through? The reason why he has input into that is because he has these connections with these incredible, world leading CIOs.

[00:01:21] - Claire Haidar
We also spoke about the metaverse.

[00:01:24] - Doug Foulkes
Very cool.

[00:01:25] - Claire Haidar
Yeah, it was a very cool part of the conversation. This is the funny part of the conversation that I really enjoyed with him. He took us into TikTok and he spoke to us about TikTok, which was really surprising. I'm not going to give any spoilers there because I think it would be great for the audience to see why we delved into the world of TikTok. But I loved that part of the conversation.

[00:01:49] - Doug Foulkes
Fantastic. Let's head on over to Michael for the third time.

[00:01:54] - Doug Foulkes
Michael, I'd like to move on. We've spoken a bit about the past, and the legacy, and how things changed in the early 2000s. I'd like to bring it right up to date, talk about some practical applications. My first question really is what are most companies not considering that they should be thinking about and thinking through in this time of what you could call hyper digitalization?

[00:02:17] - Michael Krigsman
Doug, I think that there's the temptation when we talk about digital transformation to think of it as being ecommerce. We're going to put up a really good website and we're going to have an online store. That's great, but the complexity here is that real digital transformation, it's not just about a technology. It's fundamentally about the mindset, the culture of the organization.

[00:02:49] - Michael Krigsman
Digital transformation needs to have tentacles across the company. How are we placing our customers at the center of what we do? As Claire was describing earlier, how are we ensuring a better employee experience for the folks who work for us?

[00:03:11] - Michael Krigsman
So the idea that digital transformation is, well, let's buy a digital transformation. No, that doesn't happen. It's like saying, "Well, let's buy a new business model. Let's buy a new culture for the company." None of that makes any sense. Yet with digital transformation, sometimes you get the sense that people think that.

[00:03:35] - Michael Krigsman
Again, I think that folks are becoming more sophisticated about this. But the difficulty of digital transformation, the depth of digital transformation really should not be underestimated to do it right, to do it in the right way.

[00:03:52] - Doug Foulkes
When you're just chatting there, just maybe think of what we spoke about earlier where you say that as the CIO, that you don't always bridge that gap across the silo to where you can speak more strategically.

[00:04:06] - Michael Krigsman
I think that the issue of bridging the gap is extremely important. If I were making recommendations to a CIO, or especially a new CIO, actually even a very established one, I would say to them, "Be sure you're spending time with business leaders across the organization," because that gap gets bridged when there is strong communication.

[00:04:34] - Michael Krigsman
When the CIO has a really solid understanding of what the business departments, and business functions, the folks working in those groups need, then the CIO will have a much better shot at supporting them and giving them what they need. So I think that communication is the key to bridging the gap.

[00:04:59] - Claire Haidar
Makes sense. Michael, I'm going to take this down a completely different route, but still looking at it through the lens of a practical application. A question that we very often get asked as a company by our customers is the metaverse and the employee experience. What should C level execs be considering seriously [inaudible 00:05:21] right now? Naturally, because this is both internal and external take, in some cases, it touches the CIO and the CTO, hence me asking you.

[00:05:31] - Michael Krigsman
I think that the metaverse is happening. I've spoken with some folks about the metaverse not too long ago. I spoke with the chief technology officer of Nvidia—he was a guest on CXOTalk—about the metaverse. I spoke with the chief technology officer of Accenture that is devoting a lot of resources and a line of work, a line of business to the metaverse. So clearly, the metaverse is happening and will happen. There's a lot of value there.

[00:06:09] - Michael Krigsman
However, from a business standpoint, we're just not there yet for most companies. There are specialized examples, for instance, using augmented reality for repair. So if you have a technician who is working on a machine, for example, they may not need a manual and diagrams because as they're working on a particular part, the augmented reality shows them the part comes out and 3D and can rotate, and instructions and arrows show you take this part that you're now holding and screw it in to this thing.

[00:06:56] - Michael Krigsman
That's slightly metaverse. It's augmented reality. It's not exactly the metaverse, but it's moving in that direction. So there are practical applications.

[00:07:00] - Michael Krigsman
There are also applications in the use of digital twins. Digital twins are used all the time right now to simulate machines, simulate a jet engine, for example. I was talking with somebody on CXOTalk from Rolls Royce jet engines, he was talking about this. Again, digital twin is very much related to the metaverse and if we break the metaverse down to components like this, like augmented reality, like digital twins, then it's being used a lot today.

[00:07:44] - Michael Krigsman
If we look at the metaverse as being its full flowering, its full potential as being a virtual world where people interact and we have our avatar, and there's some persistence, that's a little bit further in the future.

[00:08:01] - Michael Krigsman
Although, I will say that the chief technology officer of Nvidia used Waze, the traffic application as a little bit of an example, which is quite fascinating, actually. He said that Waze is an example of people coming together to collaborate and they're almost functioning as sensors. Waze sees the speed of the car and the location of the car. There's this coming together to collaborate in order to share traffic data and make our own individual traffic experiences better, even though the folks who are driving and using Waze don't necessarily know that they're all collaborating together.

[00:08:45] - Michael Krigsman
From his point of view, this is almost a metaverse in itself. Again, to summarize, if we take the metaverse and we break it down into pieces, there are many applications that are practical, useful today. But the full flowering of the metaverse as facebook thinks about it and have their beautiful videos, that's farther in the future.

[00:09:10] - Claire Haidar
Michael, thank you. I really like the way that you've laid that out. Nvidia is actually a customer of ours that we've worked with, a company that I really respect and really enjoy working with. I'm really looking forward to listening to that conversation that you guys had there when it's released, if it's out already.

[00:09:30] - Michael Krigsman
Oh, it is. It's about a week or two old now. Yeah, he was really good.

[00:09:37] - Claire Haidar

[00:09:37] - Michael Krigsman
It's worthwhile, definitely worthwhile listening to that.

[00:09:40] - Doug Foulkes
Michael, from my side, I've just got one short question, and it's maybe different to everything else we've spoken about. Just take us into your future for a moment, if you don't mind. Can you tell us what you're busy researching? What's top of your mind at the moment?

[00:09:55] - Michael Krigsman
Well, for me, my time is spent with CXOTalk these days, so looking for the most interesting topics, and people, and also how to present those topics. Here's a funny thing, about two months ago, I decided I need to look at TikTok. I had never looked at TikTok at all, and I really wanted to understand, what is this thing?

[00:10:20] - Michael Krigsman
So I spent a lot of time watching TikTok videos and two things emerged. I figured out what makes TikTok tick: the style of content, the way that that content is edited, the fact that you're getting a brief glimpse inside the mind of a practitioner. So I learned all of this stuff about TikTok and I really analyzed it very thoroughly. Then something else happened, I became totally addicted to TikTok. I wish I could say that I'm joking, but I'm just not.

[00:10:54] - Claire Haidar
I love that.

[00:10:56] - Michael Krigsman
I love TikTok.

[00:10:58] - Claire Haidar
Is it the little dogs? Is it the dancing? What part of TikTok is it?

[00:11:03] - Michael Krigsman
Well, that's a really good question because one of the important aspects of TikTok is there are so many people using TikTok that you can drill down into virtually any aspect of human experience or interest that you care about, and there will be vast numbers of people creating these little snippets of their life and their experience. In my case, I'm interested in music and there are just these incredible musicians, bass players, for example, or guitar players, or pianists just giving these little snippets of this incredible work, or business, or finance, what have you.

[00:11:49] - Michael Krigsman
So I'm looking at TikTok and trying to figure out how can I inform CXOTalk with the things that make TikTok really successful? That's something that's really top of mind for me right now.

[00:12:02] - Doug Foulkes

[00:12:03] - Claire Haidar
Amazing. Michael, I'm really looking forward to tracking along with you on that and seeing what you release in terms of content.

[00:12:11] - Michael Krigsman
Me too.

[00:12:13] - Claire Haidar
Okay, Michael, our last little section. Your passion for the subject, the reason why you started CXOTalk. Where was it born?

[00:12:21] - Michael Krigsman
About nine years ago, I was doing advisory consulting for enterprise technology companies, really large software companies on marketing, messaging, positioning. This video thing was happening and I thought it might be fun, I have access to these incredible people, It might be fun to do a live video show because I have access to these folks. I thought to myself, that would be fun, but I'm not sure whether this video thing is done yet. But I thought I'll try it out. So I started doing this and talking to these incredible people, and then I realized I really like doing it. So I just stayed with it.

[00:13:01] - Claire Haidar
What frustrates you the most about being a technology analyst?

[00:13:05] - Michael Krigsman
I think that there is always this pressure to be less than objective. I think if you look at technology analysts across the board, especially when the funding comes from vendors, there are potential conflicts of interest that arise. One has to be very careful about that.

[00:13:30] - Claire Haidar
Fascinating. I never really thought about that, but yes, it's very true what you're saying there. What are you finding really challenging right now? It's not allowed to be TikTok because that's not a challenge.

[00:13:41] - Michael Krigsman
What I find challenging is, again, it comes back to CXOTalk because that's where I spend my time. What I find challenging is figuring out the right kind of topics, the right kind of people to talk to, and then how to structure those topics, and then how to create videos that will be interesting and engaging. All of those things I find endlessly challenging.

[00:14:09] - Claire Haidar
How do you reset your brain?

[00:14:13] - Michael Krigsman
I take photographs. My photographs have been published in lots of places and websites. I like to meditate, although I'm a lousy meditator. But I'm a decent photographer.

[00:14:26] - Claire Haidar
Michael, thank you so much for this conversation. It's really been informative and I know that our audience is going to benefit a lot from it.

[00:14:35] - Michael Krigsman
Oh, well, thank you for inviting me. It's been an honor and really a pleasure, Claire and Doug. Thank you so much.

[00:14:40] - Doug Foulkes
Yeah, Michael, thanks from my side. I've certainly learned a massive amount. I really enjoyed the time we spent together.

[00:14:48] - Doug Foulkes
That is the end of episode 76 and our time together with CXOTalk host Michael Krigsman. If you found this podcast of value, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. Catch us on Spotify, Google, and Apple podcasts or on WNDYR's website, WNDYR.com. From Claire and myself, bye for now.

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