When senior vice president and CIO Susan Gueli took the reins of Nationwide Financial's ($119.2 billion in assets; a division of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., Columbus, Ohio) technology organization at the beginning of the year, upon Dennis Noice's retirement, she inherited what she calls a "very solid foundation" for the future.
Gueli's career at nationwide spans more than two decades, during which she rose to leadership positions in application development, infrastructure delivery and management, and Nationwide's enterprise information risk practice. "Seeing IT from many different angles helped prepare me for a position such as this one," she says. Her challenge now, Gueli adds, is to "to come in with my background and experience, with a fresh perspective, and drive the organization to a new level of performance."
Ways that Gueli plans to boost that performance include driving greater predictability and consistency in the delivery of large programs and fostering a culture that shares expertise beyond the walls of Nationwide Financial with colleagues across the corporation. Gueli identifies as a key "grounding point" a new emphasis on application portfolio discipline. "It is helping drive more of a laser focus on [questions such as] Where are we driving our investments? Do we have our core workforce working on the things that we value most from an application portfolio perspective? And do we have the right mix of workforce to manage that portfolio from a skills and experience perspective," she relates.
In terms of specific initiatives, Gueli's 2008 agenda includes making enhancements to an in-house developed life policy administration system in support of a robust new portfolio of life products rolling out throughout 2008, consolidation of retirement business systems and making significant functionality additions to portals for both distributors and end-customers.
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