As a follow-up to the release of its CIO survey, Celent held a CIO roundtable Friday. Featuring Mark Berthiaume, SVP and CIO, Chubb Commercial Insurance; Bob Ingram, SVP and CIO for The Hartford commercial and consumer markets technology; Donna Nelson-Duey, VP of technology services, Sun Life Financial; the panel touched on a number of issues. Here's a roundup of some of the quotes:
On the business environment:
Nelson-Duey: What we see now is that we have a much more balanced portfolio. Frankly, its dangerous to be in some of the guaranteed benefits that have dominated the U.S. market. IT, instead of being focused on new products, has been focused on web services and distribution, and have invested much more in our CRM capabilites and mobile computing.
Berthiaume: 2011 will probably be the toughest year we've had in IT. We've got major products and a changing structure. Change management and execution are a bit more front and center. But I think about how growth is enabled by what we do in IT.
Ingram: Our businesses were very independent and software was independent. We had a philosophy of buying, but modifying beyond all recognition. We very much want to buy and focus on the integration and minimize the number of integration points. We think the differentiator is in the service on the exterior of the software: call center, sales reps — the things that people do.
Berthiaume: Our business partners were very concerned about looking at an off-the-shelf vendor. The feeling was that whatever was built for us was built for someone else and differentiation would be an issue. We had to go through a lot of piloting and testing of platforms to configure the way they would work in Chubb, but the keys to the kingdom is about surrounding that with people and process.
On emerging technology:
Nelson-Duey: We've got a strong focus on collaboration tools. We're spread across the globe. Get our feet wet internally with things like wiki, blogs and communities before we go to campaigns on FB for recruiting and stuff like that. We've already done a couple pilots we've phased out. We want to facilitate communications with our internal community first. We have a pretty strong set of communities we share across our actuarial community, marketing. We're finding that balance between governance and consistency — there's lots of possibility for innovation
Ingram: We're in an experimentation mode with all the new social tools. We're using those to recruit and hire with, and running some pilots with customers and agents. People take those where they add value and where they make sense. I se a lot more location-based technology growing. We're experimenting with usage-based activity. The industry is going through litigation with that right now, and we'll have to see where that sorts out.
Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio