Although the senior-level reorganization at Springfield, IL-based Horace Mann Educators Corp. will have no impact on existing technology initiatives, it will better position IT for strategic and growth initiatives, says Kathleen McNulty, vice president and chief information officer, information technology division.
"The reorganization impacts us positively," says McNulty, who will report to George Zock, the insurer's new executive vice president for service and technology operations and financial services. "Through better alignment with the business areas, we will be able to achieve our goals."
Currently, Horace Mann is replacing its back-end financial systems with technology from Lawson Software (St. Paul) and is implementing data warehousing technology. "The data warehousing is for better cross-dimensional analysis for better marketing and cross-selling," McNulty says. The multi-line carrier is also developing document management functionality to give producers and customer service representatives access to up-to-date forms via the Internet, McNulty says.
The company is also looking to replace other major systems, including policy administration systems for property and casualty, life and annuities products. McNulty says no decision has been made as to when the systems will be replaced.
Lou Lower, chief executive officer, says the technology initiatives are "vital" to Horace Mann's success. "It is imperative we execute them superbly," according to Lower. "To deliver these objectives, we must be organized in a manner that puts the right resources in place. The organizational changes we're making will ensure our senior-level executive leadership is appropriately organized."
Another near-term focus for the company is "strengthening its disaster recovery plan," McNulty says. "We have had a good disaster recovery plan in place for many years and we test it twice a year," she says. "However, after the events of September 11, all companies are reassessing their disaster recovery plans. Nobody ever anticipated an event like that."
Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio