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O’Brien Drives Service

Portland, Ore.-based Standard Ins. Co.'s newly appointed senior vice president for IT, David O'Brien, will continue the focus on IT/business alignment in the pursuit of state-of-the-art customer service, which he began with his arrival at the company in 2004.

Standard Insurance Co. (a subsidiary of StanCorp Financial Group, 2005 revenue of $2.3 billion) has always been about the service. But it is only through the proper alignment of IT with business objectives that the Portland, Ore.-based life insurance and asset management firm can deliver that service at the highest level, says David O'Brien, who is driving that objective as the company's newly appointed SVP for IT.

IT/business alignment requires "talking business strategy first," he says, but as part of collaborative interaction. "Where the business tosses something over the wall and says to IT, 'OK, go build that,' there is the potential to leave a great deal of potential uncovered," he remarks. "It's through close interaction that you start to see possibilities that you may not have imagined without looking at both the business and technology perspectives in concurrent fashion."

O'Brien says his near-term efforts will focus on reuse of data and delivering information that customers want, when and how they want it, both on the Web and otherwise. "The question we ask ourselves is, 'How can we continue to move the bar up on the customer service we can deliver?'" O'Brien comments. --A.O.

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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