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Introducing Eileen Slevin: New York Life’s New CIO Plans For The Future

Eileen Slevin, who recently replaced Judith Campbell as New York LIfe's CIO, will draw on extensive project management experience and background in shaping the company's e-commerce accomplishments and business resilience capabilities as she develops the mutual's IT strategic plan.

Though her roots are on the business side, newly appointed New York Life (NYL, New York; $265 billion in assets under management) CIO Eileen Slevin's project management background has brought her into close collaboration with IT since the early 1980s. Some of her most important engagements followed her formal entry into New York Life's IT sphere in 1995, such as her management of the life insurer's Y2K project and her review of the carrier's business continuity capabilities in the wake of 9/11. Appointed as NYL's IT organization's chief operating officer in 2001, Slevin has been heavily involved in the carrier's adoption of Web-enabled systems. She takes over CIO role with the retirement of Judith Campbell.

Proud of what she describes as NYL's state-of-the-art agent portal and the company's Web site, Slevin says that Web-based infrastructure will be a top priority for her as CIO. "Continuing to advance and invest in our infrastructure is an important initiative of mine," she comments. "Trying to determine the right level of spend for that to keep it robust while preparing it for the future is very important." Gauging the appropriate spend for legacy modernization is another key challenge for Slevin, since different solutions could result in very different cost profiles. However, Slevin is clear in her rejection of one option: "We never went down the path of thinking that we would rewrite our legacy systems," she declares.

Along with legacy modernization Slevin says data-related strategic projects will be among major initiatives in the near future. However, these are pending the finalization of a five- to seven-year IT plan due mid-2008 to create a technology strategy aligned with the business. A key feature of it will inevitably be Web strategy, Slevin emphasizes. "We believe that the Web will provide an important means of growth," Slevin says. "The Web will help us with lead-generation, distribution, virtual office space, and the next generation - Generation Y - of employees, customers and agents."

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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