Like other health insurers, Portland, Ore.-based Regence ($8.5 billion in 2007 revenue) needs to build a more-robust infrastructure to handle the increased role of IT in today's customer-oriented market. Having taken on responsibility for the carrier's infrastructure groups at the turn of the year, Kerry Goff, director of production delivery and support, is set to tackle that challenge.
"We need to ... drive the business from IT so that we are enabling our business to transform healthcare," Goff comments. "To do that, we need to be very agile and virtualized, and that's a significant departure from most classical ... infrastructure groups."
Among the challenges Goff faces is coping with aged data centers. "We are about 95 percent sure that the majority of our data centers will be hosted rather than internal, and that presents a significant challenge with respect to the execution of data migration in a cost-contained manner," Goff relates. "We are most likely looking at an 18-month window to accomplish that."
Regence also is in the midst of converting to a fully converged VOIP network that Goff says will be largely completed by the end of 2008.
In addition, as the Blue Cross Blue Shield company for several states, Regence faces the challenges related to the merger-and-acquisition activity that resulted in that geographic spread. "We used to operate as many different companies, and so we have many processes, some of which are more manual than they should be," Goff observes. To address those issues, he adds, "We're working on process automation and becoming more streamlined as an organization."
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