While Allstate was developing its multi-channel distribution strategy, Catherine S. Brune was doing her part by achieving a more enterprise-oriented view of the carrier's infrastructure as vice president, technology shared services. Now, as the firm moves to the next stage in its technological transformation, Brune has been entrusted with the top technology spot, as senior vice president and CTO. She succeeds Frank M. Pollard, senior vice president and CIO, who is retiring effective Dec. 31, 2002.
Technology's primary role is to drive the Allstate brand, according to Brune, but IT's efforts are being taken to a next level, "which is being able to look at how we spend Allstate's money, making sure it serves the customer, the employee and the shareholder."
Among Brune's responsibilities will be to set governance standards as Allstate builds on its achievements to date. "We have redone all our contracts, we have looked very hard at freeing up dollars to invest in some of the things we want to do-for example, in marketing and call centers," she says. "I think what we're poised to do is take that, expand on it by doing this reorganization, making sure that we have a consolidated view, and spending the dollars very wisely."
Allstate's transition to an enterprise orientation will be challenging because the firm has been so successful in the past with a business-unit focus, Brune says. "We need more of an enterprise slant towards IT andwe want our businesses to have some flexibility in some of their business-focused applications," she says. "I feel I'm going to be the orchestra leader among all the IT professionals."
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio