AWS Cloud Enterprise Strategy Blog

Mark Schwartz

Author: Mark Schwartz

Mark Schwartz is an Enterprise Strategist at Amazon Web Services and the author of The Art of Business Value and A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility. Before joining AWS he was the CIO of US Citizenship and Immigration Service (part of the Department of Homeland Security), CIO of Intrax, and CEO of Auctiva. He has an MBA from Wharton, a BS in Computer Science from Yale, and an MA in Philosophy from Yale.

A diagram showing five capabilities and two characteristics that all agile organizations have in common

The Seven S’s of Organizational Agility

We talk a lot about organizational agility. But what exactly does the term mean? By now, Agile software development and agile IT capability delivery have taken on a fairly precise meaning, even if it’s sometimes misunderstood. But one goal of IT agility is to support organizational agility, which is certainly a broader concept and more […]

Read More

The CIO and CFO Conversation

In earlier blog posts I’ve talked about the CIO-CFO relationship, how it’s changing, and how it needs to change. In this post I’ll begin delving into what sorts of conversations should really be taking place between CFOs and CIOs and how the CIO can better frame these discussions. Must-Spending: The Historical Focus Beginning in, oh, […]

Read More
Cover art from Mark Schwartz's book, The (Delicate) Art of Bureaucracy

Announcing The (Delicate) Art of Bureaucracy

I’m excited to announce the publication of my fourth book, The (Delicate) Art of Bureaucracy: Digital Transformation with the Monkey, the Razor, and the Sumo Wrestler. Despite the whimsical title, it’s about a critical concern of enterprises transitioning to the cloud and trying to thrive in the digital economy. From our meetings with enterprise AWS […]

Read More

Resilience, Part Two: Focusing on People

We’ve learned from COVID-19 that in a crisis, enterprises quickly have to focus on getting their employees working again. It’s the chief prerequisite for reestablishing business operations. After all, how can your employees respond to the crisis if they can’t work? In an earlier post I pointed out that agility, or nimbleness, is the essential […]

Read More

Guts, Part Three: Having Backbone – Disagreeing and Committing

Sometimes, other leaders in your company reject your ideas. Perhaps you’re a CIO, who knows perfectly well that the cloud will have tremendous benefit for your company. But the CFO says no, it’s too risky, or the economic projections aren’t convincing. Or perhaps the CEO doesn’t think it’s a priority right now, or the board […]

Read More
Security concept

Evolving GRC to Maximize Your Business Benefits from the Cloud

Introduction by Mark Schwartz This post continues our series on governance in the cloud. In earlier posts we discussed new strategies for governance, the governance that requires standardization and rules, and governance that oversees projects and investments. In another post John Thorp of AWS Professional Services wrote about AWS’s frameworks for evolving your Governance, Risk, […]

Read More

Mental Models to Clarify the Goals of Digital Transformation, Part 2

In an earlier post, I proposed that rather than trying to make sense of the term digital transformation, we think of it as the application of eight new mental models to the way we do business. In that post I discussed the first four mental models; here I’ll cover the remaining ones. Model 5: Being […]

Read More
Calculator and magnifying glass on a pile of graphs and charts on a wood table

One Yardstick to Rule Them All: How Gamifying Marginal Cost Could Be a Game Changer

Introduction by Mark Schwartz Back around the end of 2018 we ran a series of blog posts on the implications of the cloud on cost structure, where we discussed some of the interesting and more subtle consequences of changing fixed costs to variable. In particular, as I pointed out, the cloud and DevOps let you […]

Read More