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In Depth: WellPoint Hires Andrew Lang to Lead Applications Development

Lang's responsibilities to include positioning applications development team as strategic business partner.

After re-organizing its various application development teams under a single department, Indianapolis-based WellPoint named Andrew J. Lang to the newly created position of SVP of applications development. Lang, who started in his new role in mid-December, will be responsible for all phases of the software development lifecycle within WellPoint, such as those associated with application architecture.

According to Lang, his role encompasses three main responsibilities: ensuring that his team is viewed by the business as a strategic partner, continuously improving the software development lifecycle through foundational efforts, and improving flexibility and efficiency when responding to the needs of business partners. "From an IT perspective, we can leverage frameworks, design and implementation patterns, and common services so we can help increase our responsiveness to business partner needs, so we're not 'inventing new' every time a new request comes in," Lang says when discussing the flexibility and efficiency focus.

To be successful, Lang suggests, he'll ultimately need to focus on his staff and ensuring that they work in an empowered and challenging environment. To that end, he relates, he has been meeting with members of his team to identify possible areas of improvement. "It really pushes toward continuous learning," Lang says. "It's a collaborative environment."

A graduate of Ohio State, Lang joins WellPoint from Minneapolis-based Cargill, a food, agricultural and risk management products and services company, where he served as VP of information technology services. He also has held IT leadership positions at Aetna, U.S. Bancorp, Visa International and IBM.

"The scope of my responsibilities [at Cargill] was around enterprise architecture, infrastructure services and information security. It's slightly different than my focus here [at WellPoint]," Lang recalls. "The key benefit in working across all different aspects of the IT discipline [is that] I have a good appreciation for the challenges and needs of infrastructure areas, both network and data, ... and then, of course, on the delivery side of the house with architecture development and testing components."

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