Though Richard Znidarsic is new to the insurance industry, he already knows what he needs to do as the new VP of information services at Accident Fund Insurance Company of America ($2 billion in assets). While his responsibilities are broad — including overseeing business application implementation and support, multitiered customer support, systems security, business continuity planning, infrastructure support, and telecommunications and print center operations — Znidarsic says his goal is simple: to establish information services as a strategic differentiator for the company.
To accomplish that, Znidarsic explains, the department must support the long-term needs of the business without sacrificing the flexibility needed to react to short-term demands — all while the company experiences rapid growth through geographic expansion. Strategically, Znidarsic says, he aims to align IT goals and objectives with enterprise strategy. "I am working on assessing and evaluating the current IT organization alignment, and developing options and plans to make adjustments where needed," he comments.
A key part of that alignment will require Znidarsic to integrate Accident Fund (Lansing, Mich.) with subsidiary United Heartland (New Berlin, Wis.), a workers' compensation firm, by establishing a "one department with multiple locations" culture to the group, he relates. To that end, Znidarsic will be heavily involved over the next three years in the planning and design of a new technology center as part of Accident Fund's new national headquarters project. Other projects on Znidarsic's 2008 agenda include the implementation of a new claims system "that will provide a consolidated enterprise solution" and identifying an enterprise policy system, he adds.
Before joining Accident Fund in January, Znidarsic served as associate CIO at Sparrow Health System (Lansing, Mich.). He replaces Gene Fernandez, who left to become CIO for LACare Health Plan (Los Angeles).