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ING's Integration Is Donovan's Goal

Following the acquisition of ReliaStar and Aetna Financial Services in 2000, ING faced a technology integration challenge that Paul Donovan, characterizes as "Y2K on steroids."

Following the acquisition of ReliaStar and Aetna Financial Services in 2000, Amsterdam-based ING ($47 billion in assets) faced a technology integration challenge that Paul Donovan, CIO, ING US Financial Services, characterizes as "Y2K on steroids."

"We very quickly brought three companies together," the former Aetna Financial Services CIO says. As part of the integration efforts, he adds, "we literally brought all of our infrastructure support from Aetna and migrated it to ING's hub in Minneapolis."

The consolidated elements were organized into retail- and worksite-oriented business units and Donovan took the technology helm of the latter as CIO for ING Worksite Financial Services.

After the events of September 11, however, ING felt that market conditions counseled further consolidation, says Donovan. "We decided we needed to be even more customer-focused and aggressive in our integration activities, so as of November we became one unit within the US."

As CIO for the reorganized operation, Donovan says his job has been to further consolidate the IT organization. Prior to the formation of ING US Financial Services, "there were a number of IT organizations, CIOs and architectural groups within the business units," he says. "It is my job to take all of those organizations and create one single, business-focused IT organization."

As Donovan surmounts what he calls a "dreaded legacy-times-three" problem, he says the challenge is to bring the business together "as one offering so that we're presenting a customer-centric product and service supported by technology."

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

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