Response 1:

John Doe1, I enjoyed your post, and after reading, I felt like I had a good macro level understanding of the Business Value Chain for the State of Arizona, Department of Veteran Services.  It’s great that you can find purpose in what you are doing.  I found myself wanting to know more detail regarding primary activities, such as how are inbound logistics performed, how sales and marketing activities are managed, etc… In general, I think I would have enjoyed a little more detail on the role of information technology within your organization.  Based on your closing statement and the use of platforms such as GoToMeeting and EMR (Electronic Medical Records) there may have been some additional detail that could have been added to these or some other information technology within the organization that would have provided some deeper insight.


It’s hard to imagine what life was like before web conferencing systems like GoToMeeting, WebEx, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc…  These technologies have changed the world.  I am curious is GoToMeeting used primarily for internal meetings or is the platform being used for outreach?


Response 2:

John Doe2, thanks for sharing, I like the idea of graphically mapping the value chain (I did the same thing, not loving that I cannot easily embed images in discussion board posts, trying to figure out a good workaround).  I have lived and worked in New York City for the past twenty years, many of these years have been focused on the design and implementation of large-scale, high-performance storage subsystems.  As you can imagine many of my customers are financial organizations and what a transformation I have witnessed from 1996 to 2016.  In 1996 I was designing and installing high-speed storage devices that sat at the desk of a trader behind a Sun Microsystems SPARCstation 20s (, trading decisions were being analyzed and executed by human beings with the assistance of computer models based on historical and current market conditions.  Today many of these firms have consolidated into larger investment banks and commercial banks.  Then came the surge of Hedge Funds and today the market has shifted to quantitative analytics, Quant Funds ( and high-frequency trading ( where a firm’s reputation seems less dependent on the broker or representative and more dependent on the physicist or computer scientist who developed the trading algorithm.  This was made pretty evident by the crash of 2008 where the math and physics made mortgage-backed security, credit default swaps, and collateralized debt obligations seem like a good idea. 🙂

I feel that your graphical representation of the value chain along with your post gave me a good understanding of how you view the value chain within this organization.  I would have loved some more depth regarding which information systems are being used and how they map into the value chain.  For example, what is used for research (e.g. – Bloomberg?), a little more detail behind the “development of innovative delivery of industry data”, is raw data pulled from a platform, is there an ETL (extract, transform, load) process, how is this data aggregated and presented.


Today the days of the high-speed storage subsystems sitting at a trader or analysts desk are gone and have been replaced by massive Hadoop clusters ( which are storing and mining an unprecedented amount of data; we call this Big Data (  The idea that there are tangential data sets which have statistical relevance when performing predictive analysis and the idea that we can aggregate these massive, loosely coupled, unstructured data sets and perform predictive analysis is changing the world.
Response 3:

Jane Doe, interesting post.  I had never heard of eLEAD CRM, so I was curious to do some research.  Given my background, the ideal place to start was with the Gartner CRM Magic Quadrant ( which is my defacto starting reference point for the discovery market leading information technologies like CRM, ERP, MRP, etc…  Because I didn’t see eLEAD CRM on the Magic Quadrant I did some further digging and hit their website (, makes sense given their niche focus that they would not hit the radar on a broader CRM Gartner Magic Quadrant.  Further research showed that they apparently are well regarded as a CRM servicing the Automotive industry (


It’s a bit difficult to research eLead’s corporate profile because they are a private company and published data is always a little suspect (, but it looks like eLEAD is a ~ 150 million / year in revenue and ~ 750 employees.  I’d be curious to know how the company had grown and at what rate over N years and how you think specific ITP, IMP and IBV investments have contributed to this growth.  I am always interested in how information systems investments and becoming an information oriented organization translates into growth from both a top line revenue (market growth) and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization – perspective.

Response 4:

John Doe3, I have to admit I was a bit surprised by your average rating of Boeing (assuming this is somewhere in the 50-60% range).  I would think given the data nature of the aerospace industry and the applicability of IoT ( to organizations like Boeing, GE and others for the deployment of sensors and capture of telemetry data that these organizations would be leading the pack as information oriented organizations.  How important is the rate of technology adoption relevant when assessing an organization’s information orientation?  I would expect that Facebook would adopt new technologies and paradigms faster than the likes of a Boeing because people lives are not at risk when Facebook is down (I do recognize that to many FB users do think that the inability to like a meme on their FB page represents a dreadful situation).  Based on everyone’s perspective of the IO of our respective organizations I wonder if our field of view is finite and thus the perspective we have on our respective organizations IO is potentially skewed?


I believe the push toward COTS (commercial off-the-shelf – hardware is a movement impacting every IT organization.  The speed of general purpose hardware (e.g. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, etc… chips) had moved more intelligence into the software stack and has increased agility and has replaced ASIC (application-specific integrated circuits – for many applications.  I think this shift has positively impacted the agility of many organizations and the rate at which they can transform their business.  With this said I would expect certain industries to be slowed dramatically by regulations, the tech sector is largely unregulated which allows the market to move very fast, while sectors like aerospace, healthcare and energy are slower to move because they are highly regulated and tethered by legacy and the risk of innovating too quickly.  Personally, I am not sure I want Boeing or Medtronic iterating too fast. 🙂


You mention that senior management is focused on delivering IT-as-a-Service and that restructuring your entire department created the biggest challenge.  My question is, has the service model increased agility?  Is there a self-services aspect of the service model that enables innovation by moving control closer to the innovator and then metrics cost and yield of consumed resources?


As I read your post I couldn’t help but think about a project I worked on with GE and Pivotal ( where GE made a strategic investment and to enable their service model, service catalog and self-service started refactoring their applications with Cloud Foundry (  Would be interesting to hear some of the details underlying how Boeing is transforming their IT organization.


Overall sounds like Boeing is doing some great stuff, keep innovating but keep me safe at 30,000 feet.




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