This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with leading professionals.
In this blog series, we talk with Jon Bartol a top-ranking business technology leader and authority. Jon is the Chief Information Officer of General Motors of Canada. I had the pleasure of meeting Jon at the CIO and IT Executive Summit in Montreal.
Jon Bartol, Chief Information Officer,
General Motors of Canada
Top-Ranking Business Technology Leader and Authority
Stephen: Jon, we are indeed fortunate to have you do this interview. Thank you for sharing your deep talent, knowledge, and experiences with our audience.
Jon: You’re welcome, Stephen. Always a pleasure to talk with the folks at CIPS.
Stephen: Where do you see GM positioned in the future?
Jon: I feel very good about GM – we certainly have had an interesting time over the last 12-18 months, but several significant and deliberate actions were taken to put GM back on the right course. The goal with our huge turnaround effort at GM is to change the company for the long haul, by structuring GM for sustained profitability and growth. We are working to set GM up to be competitive for years to come. On the business side, you need to look no further than our products, which continue to do very well. You probably noticed that at the Detroit Auto Show, GM’s Saturn Aura and Chevrolet’s Silverado were voted Best in Show by 49 US and Canadian journalists. On the I/T side, we continue to work our global model, leveraging our size and footprint, to reduce cost and enable our business partners to do the same and help drive innovation across the company.
Stephen: Can you describe your current role within GM and how you will contribute to the overall corporate strategies?
Jon: My role, as CIO of GM of Canada, Ltd, has several objectives:
- Help enable the businesses of GMCL to sell more cars and trucks, more profitably and with a great customer experience.
- Actively participate in the globalization of the I/T function; working with all my global colleagues to implement our 3rd Generation model of I/T sourcing.
- Deliver precision technology to enable critical business solutions.
- Enhance / promote cross-functional coordination and cooperation.
- Grow / groom future leaders of the organizations.
- Aggressively support structural cost reduction.
- Continue support of our Canadian-based advanced technology research and design.
Stephen: What are your top challenges and can you profile the strategies/tactics to address them?
- Project execution – We are in the implementation phase of several critical projects. Executing the plan on each one will move us closer to common global systems, eliminate additional unique systems, reduce cost, and enhance the ordering / selling process of our vehicles.
- Training – We have an aggressive plan of continuing training for our people – each person has a technical skill enhancement plan that we need to complete.
- Structural cost reduction – always a challenge, but also a never-ending focus of the I/T organization – not just internally, but how can we, I/T, help our business be more efficient, productive, and responsive.
- Globalization – Maintaining our agility to leverage GM’s Globalization and take advantage of opportunities – quickly – as they arise.
- With our 3rd generation model of I/T sourcing, effectively managing our new suppliers and foster the partnership in Canada.