Mark Schwartz is an iconoclastic CIO and a playful crafter of ideas, an inveterate purveyor of lucubratory prose. He has been an IT leader in organizations small and large, public, private, and nonprofit. As an Enterprise Strategist for Amazon Web Services, he uses his CIO experience to bring strategies to enterprises or enterprises to strategies, and bring both to the cloud. As the CIO of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, he provoked the federal government into adopting Agile and DevOps practices. He is pretty sure that when he was the CIO of Intrax Cultural Exchange he was the first person ever to use business intelligence and supply chain analytics to place au pairs with the right host families. Mark speaks frequently on innovation, bureaucratic implications of DevOps, and using Agile processes in low-trust environments. With a BS in computer science from Yale, a master’s in philosophy from Yale, and an MBA from Wharton, Mark is either an expert on the business value of IT or else he just thinks about it a lot.
Mark is the author of The Art of Business Value, which – he is proud to report – has been labeled by his detractors “The Ecclesiastes of Product Management,” and “Apocryphal.” The book takes readers on a journey through the meaning of bureaucracy, the nature of cultural change, and the return on investment of an MBA degree, on the way to solving the great mystery … what exactly do we mean by business value and how should that affect the way we practice IT?
Mark’s second book, A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility, was about the role of IT Leaders, Agility, and unusual types of pasta. He promises that it is more canonical and less apocryphal.
Mark’s third book is well on its way. It is called War and Peace and IT: Business Leadership, Technology, and Success in the Digital Age and will be available on May 14, 2019 (though it can be pre-ordered now). It is a sequel to Tolstoy’s novel, written for senior executives outside of IT, that explains how to work with the IT folks to generate the most business value, now that we are joyfully entering the digital era. Unfortunately Tolstoy’s novel was not long enough to cover these topics. To tell the story of digital transformation, Mark references Napoleon, bobbleheads, and Hindu gods.
Mark is the winner of a Computerworld Premier 100 award, a Computerworld Elite 100 award, a Federal Computer Week Fed 100 award, and a CIO Magazine CIO 100 award, which strongly suggests that there are less than 99 other people you could better spend time talking to.