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War and Peace and IT
Business Leadership, Technology, and Success in the Digital Age
by Mark Schwartz
War and Peace and IT
Business Leadership, Technology, and Success in the Digital Age
by Mark Schwartz

War and Peace and IT offers a bold, insightful roadmap for building a company’s digital capacity. With the pace of change in IT accelerating at such an unprecedented rate, I consider this essential reading for my entire leadership team.”

François Locoh-Donou, President & CEO, F5 Networks
The Business-IT Wall Must Come Down
With A Seat at the Table, thought leader Mark Schwartz pulled out a chair for CIOs at the C-suite table. Now Mark brings his unique perspective and experience to business leaders looking to lead their company into the digital age by harnessing the expertise and innovation that is already under their roof: IT.

In the war for business supremacy, Schwartz shows we must throw out the old management models and stereotypes that pit suits against nerds. Instead, business leaders of today can foster a space of collaboration and shared mission, a space that puts technologists and business people on the same team.

For business leaders looking to unlock their enterprise’s digital transformation, War and Peace and IT provides clear context and strategies. Schwartz demystifies the role IT plays in the modern enterprise, allowing business leaders to create new strategies for the new digital battleground.

It is time to change not only the enterprise’s relationship with technology, but its relationship with technologists. To accelerate, enterprises must bring technology to the heart of their work, for just as technology is causing this disruption, it is technology that provides the solution.
Unlike Napoleon, it is time for business leaders to come down from the hill atop the Battle of Borodino and enter the fray with the technologists, for that is where the war will be won or lost.

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Downloads & Extra Materials

Having worked with hundreds of executives from large enterprises in my roles at AWS, it is clear to me that every CEO and CIO should read this book…together.

Stephen Orban, General Manager at AWS & author of Ahead in the Cloud
Articles by the Author
Unlock Your Enterprise's Digital Transformation by Changing Your Relationship with Technologists
By Mark Schwartz

If you want to unlock your enterprise’s digital transformation, you must change not only its relationship with technology, but its relationship with its technologists. Conventional wisdom has settled on a way of integrating IT into the enterprise that hasn’t been very effective up to now...

The Battle of Borodino: Business as a Complex Adaptive System
by Mark Schwartz

It might seem like a stretch to compare the business environment to a ­battle, but a set of common characteristics seems to exist between war, ICUs, business in the digital era, and IT. Each of these, including the business enterprise, is an example of a complex adaptive system (CAS)—a self-organizing system (a concept that draws from evolutionary biology) in which individuals pursue their own objectives and interact in complex, ever-changing ways. 

If you want to learn how to embrace technology, respond effectively to ambiguity, and transform your business into an agile organization, then bring all your CXOs together and read this book with the CIO.

Chris Richardson, Chief Operating Officer, Tru Realty
More Titles by Mark Schwartz

What business value means, why it matters, and how it should affect your software development and delivery practices.

How IT leaders must throw off the old attitudes and assumptions and claim their rightful seat at the C-suite table.

For anyone frustrated by roadblocks, irritated the business can't move fast enough, or suffering under the weight of crushing procedures, this book is for you. No matter your role, you need a playbook for bureaucracy.

I am buying several copies of this book for my colleagues across all of our business operations…not just business and IT.

Josh Seckel, Head of Agile Practice at Sevatec, Inc
Napoleon, DevOps, and Delivering Business Value
Mark's DevOps Enterprise Summit 2018 Las Vegas presentation
In an environment of uncertainty, complexity, and rapid change - in other words, what we see when we come to work every day - good business leadership looks very different.

The way we assess risk, the way we make investment decisions, the way we structure our organizations, and even the way the senior leadership team of an enterprise collaborates - all must change to accommodate the realities of the digital world. An enterprise can turn risks into opportunities and unleash innovation … well, if they learn the right lessons from Napoleon and bobbleheads.

In this talk I will draw on some of the ideas in my upcoming book War and Peace and IT: Business Leadership, Technology, and Success in the Digital Age to demonstrate how to succeed in the digital world according to one of its great experts, Leo Tolstoy.

This third book in the trilogy raises the most important issue—decisions need to be made and executed in real time.... and having gone through it with him at the Department of Homeland Security, I can tell you it was one of most impactful initiatives we ever undertook.

Luke McCormack, former CIO of the Department of Homeland Security
About the Author

As an Enterprise Strategist for Amazon Web Services, Mark Schwartz uses his extensive CIO wisdom to advise the world’s largest companies on the obvious: time to move to the cloud, guys. As the CIO of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, he provoked the federal government into adopting Agile and DevOps practices. Mark speaks frequently on innovation, change leadership, bureaucratic implications of DevOps, and using Agile practices 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 just confused and much poorer.

Mark is the author of The Art of Business Value, A Seat at the Table, and War and Peace and IT and the winner of a Computerworld Premier 100 award, an Amazon Elite 100 award, a Federal Computer Week Fed 100 award, and a CIO Magazine CIO 100 award. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Napoleon couldn’t centrally manage his battles in real time, but today’s leaders have no excuse. Independent cell-based teams using rapid hypothesis testing will win the battles against competitors who remain old-school.

Adrian Cockcroft, VP Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS
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