All chief technology officers must concern themselves with meeting not just current but also future enterprise technology needs. The Hartford's (Hartford; $259.7 billion in assets) CTO Gary Plotkin is one of the few executives who has made this a priority, however, by taking responsibility for The Hartford's Innovation Lab.
In a departure from its less-formal approach to innovation, the lab's staff organizes its work into four focus areas. Three are aimed at evaluating technologies according to their projected maturity, whether within one year, from one to three years, or three years and beyond, according to Plotkin.
Of the latter time frame, he says, "That's where we are doing more partnering work with a number of our large consultancy partners, vendors and universities. ... We've found opportunities for patents, for first-mover advantages, and a good deal of sharing and cojoining of ideas." The fourth area is focused on infusing innovation into everyday activity, he adds. "The nicest thing here is that the business has ... brought us into a lot of their strategic conversations," Plotkin says. "They've allowed us to help them expand some of their business ideas into not only what can be done today, but how to apply these things going forward." --Anthony O'Donnell
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