Leveraging Current Technology To Improve Productivity

Sue Ericksen, CIO & SVP, New York Life Insurance
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Sue Ericksen, CIO & SVP, New York Life Insurance

Sue Ericksen, CIO & SVP, New York Life Insurance

Steering transformational initiatives within your business environment that typically required IT
 
One of the goals for my team in 2013 is a continuation of a goal established in 2012- embed Operational Excellence in everything we do. This is evident by more visible, positive business impact, higher degrees of business partner and customer satisfaction, and improved application functionality and availability. Each of my direct reports has developed an Operational excellence plan for their area. In Architecture, Engineering and Operations we already follow ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) and now we are enhancingthe process to mploy techniques from CISCO's PPDIOO.
 
Another goal is to establish and continuously improve as a company.
 
Roles and responsibilities as a CIO
 
Strengthening the partnership with our internal customers so that technology is more of an enabler and viewed less as a cost of doing business, has been the key to my team. As a result, we restructured the technology capabilities of the company moving to a federated model, implemented new technology governance principles so we can leverage best practices and take advantage of synergies.
 
The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier
 
We want to use more “cool” technology and we use it when we can; but a good portion of this type of technology has been developed for the consumer. We want to use Social Networking technology more than we do today, but we have purposefully limited the use of certain capabilities. We would like our employees to be able to employ their personal smart phone for work functions, but we have to limit the makes and models we support to the ones that work with our mobile device management technology. This capability would be used to support the synching of business information, for employees who have PC's, tablets or smart phones.
 
Things done to elevate IT's relationship with the business
 
We recently restructured our IT capabilities at New York Life and moved more of the responsibility; for application development and maintenance to the company’s two main business groups, each with a technology leader who is a member of their leadership team.
 
Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
 
Mobility, Cloud along with Big Data are high on our radar screen, for opportunities to provide technology that enables the business to sell our products more effectively, serve our policy holders better and make our employees more efficient. We are working on evolving our field force applications so they can be accessed from a tablet. Now we are working on our second wave of social networking solutions. Many of the technology vendors we do business with, have strategies to provide cloud based options.
 
Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs
 
Buy more than you build and configure more than you customize. Buying capabilities and configuring them, speeds up the delivery process. That means your users can be productive.

Build a network of relationships with other CIO's in your industry and outside too. The problems you are faced with may have already been solved.

Reward and celebrate successes. The competition is getting fierce for top talent. Once you hire a great candidate, get them a culture mentor so they can learn how to get things done. Keep them motivated by giving them interesting projects.

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