Aggregate And Consolidate All Data Stores And Streams

Ravi Krishnan, CIO, Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
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Ravi Krishnan, CIO, Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.

Challenges in technology to meet insurance enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations
We have embarked on an enterprise transformation that is founded on three key goals– existing platform optimization, enhanced mobility, and carving client models driven by technology. Each of these three goals has been envisioned, strategized and is being executed, in phase-wise deliverables.


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
Two show-stoppers in this regard and neither are about paucity of technology tools, but are more to do with business constraints. One, a significant chunk of the process workflow in the financial sector is still carried out via paper documents. My wish would be for the business think-tank to open up their horizons of viability and allow for more automation and streamlining in this regard. Second, and this is partially related to my first point, there is substantial regulation and privacy ‘anxiety’ when you talk about financial data. But again, my point is, if the even more stringent healthcare sector is turning around and embracing technology in a secure, reliable and private solution environment, the financial sector shouldn’t be as wary as it sometimes tends to be.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen
In the intermediate term, we are trying to aggregate and consolidate all data stores and streams into one master-level data repository to ensure data reliability, accuracy, and the establishment of a single-version-of-the-truth for all reporting and dashboard needs. For the longer- term, our holy grail is to mine this data in a synergistic manner across various practices so as to create a predictive business model for client behavior.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
We see intelligent social media adoption as one of the next ‘big things’ for us as a business development driver. In the industry we serve, and in the age we live, marketing and sales have to be synergistic, and one channel of driving sales growth, and being at the forefront of marketability and brand image is by utilizing social media shrewdly, imaginatively, and with a clear set of objectives.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO
I am fairly new to the role of a CIO per se, but I do have a definitive opinion on this question. Today, the role of a CIO is a confluence of three traditional roles- Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and the Chief Information Officer. Marketing to the new age of consumerism, and outlining a global, enterprise strategy, cannot happen without a sound and solid technology foundation.

Lessons learnt and advice for fellow CIOs
There are three fundamental pointers in this context:
• Learn the business- it is imperative for a CIO to not only know, but have substantial depth in the business model and the underlying process workflows that define the organization and industry they are working in.

• Practice true democracy- the seeds to some of the most strategic technology decisions in my life have been sown by team members. Ideas and perspectives not only could, but should, come from all directions and levels.

• Realize that all business is global- even the most intrinsically centered business model can be served and serviced with a global operational set-up.

 

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