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The CIO as the ultimate insider

Divina Paredes | Dec. 18, 2012
Kevin Angland, CIO of IAG New Zealand, has the distinctive experience of working across most areas of the insurance industry.

He says there are pockets of information management and business intelligence projects ongoing across the business.

"It is a priority from an IT perspective because we are bringing AMI and IAG businesses together," says Angland. "We need to bring those data sets together as well to ensure we have got a good view of all our customers."

"The approach we have taken, not just to the technology but the integration of the two organisations, is to take the best of both so it is not AMI simply doing the things the way IAG did."

Angland says IT was represented early on in the acquisition, during the due diligence and business case. "We have gone in with our eyes open, there isn't too much in the way of a surprise post acquisition of AMI. Most of what we are finding, most of what we have seen we knew already. All that information was available to us during the diligence process."

What eased the process was the "complementary cultures" of the two organisations around delivering to customers. "That was the crucial piece," he says.

The Christchurch earthquake, meanwhile, has contributed to the team's "greater level of resilience and flexibility".

"Our IT team in Christchurch had to relocate three to four times to temporary premises," he says. The last time was over two months ago when they were given a day's notice to leave the building because it did not meet the earthquake standards for IAG employees. "They are a bit more flexible to some of the things that have come as a result of the earthquake that are now beneficial to us," as they work through the integration.

Portfolio management prioritisation is a big part of what they do. Though there would be "flavours" of project management, Angland says that having the training and experience in the discipline of project management is a fundamental requirement for those working across the sector. "By nature a lot of work we do is delivered in project format so to have some understanding and have some experience in it is just invaluable."

On track

Angland says having a long-term experience in a single sector has its advantages.

"Having worked in the business and understanding the customer value proposition and the processes in the business gives you afar better insight into how IT can help deliver value," says Angland. "It is not IT for IT's sake."

Recently, he addressed some of the new staff who joined IAG's graduate recruitment programme. He told them that joining an organisation like IAG means they will have a lot of choices on the areas they can work on, including legal, IT and other professional services. "A corporate organisation can offer a lot of scope, so you don't necessarily have to leave the organisation."

 

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