The five tech rules of GM.'s Ralph Szygenda

If you have the chance, read through Stan Gibson's interview of General Motors CIO Ralph Szygenda. Ralph is as close to the dean of CIOs as you will find in the U.S. He was early at redefining the role of corporate technology to be based on service agreements with hard

If you have the chance, read through Stan Gibson's interview of General Motors CIO Ralph Szygenda. Ralph is as close to the dean of CIOs as you will find in the U.S. He was early at redefining the role of corporate technology to be based on service agreements with hard benchmarks, redefining the role of those working for him as business and technology service managers rather than simply tech gurus and, more recently, helping a struggling G.M. use its worldwide design network to become a global auto competitor rather than U.S. centric company doing much of its business elsewhere.I've pulled out what I think are the five tech rules, Ralph might want to change the list a bit, but these are my takeaways from the interview

I sat in (via telephone) on the interview and here are some of the highlights that I think have something to teach all CIOs and aspiring tech managers.

1. Be relentless in cutting your operational costs and be sure you have the management backing to put those cost savings back into new application development. That is the only way to assure a new technology lifeline for your company.

2. Your tech mantras should be standardization, simplification and collaboration

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3. Your corporate goal is a total, digital real-time enterprise. Everything else flows from creating the real-time network.

4.Create and manage a portfolio of technology investment. Be as rigid in managing that portfolio as you would be in managing your own personal financial portfolio.

5.Make sure to make room for new tech companies to enter your organization's evaluation cycle. Don't become beholden to the big tech behemoths.