Efforts To Reduce Costs, Improve Quality and Efficiency

Scott Klus, VP, Policy Administration Systems, Jackson National Life Insurance
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Scott Klus, VP, Policy Administration Systems, Jackson National Life Insurance

Scott Klus, VP, Policy Administration Systems, Jackson National Life Insurance

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

It’s been the same challenge for several years- how to locate, recruit and hire enough qualified people. There is a tremendous shortage of people with technology skills and experience in all aspects of IT and the insurance industry has a special challenge in getting the attention of qualified candidates.

As to a wish list for 2013, I’d like to see mobile tools that enable the development of one set of code that would run on the various mobile and tablet devices, allowing us to take advantage of the rich capabilities of those devices.

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

One thing I would like to see is more fault-tolerant software from our vendors software written to detect, recover and self correct when we have infrastructure outages.

I would also like to see better configuration tools across the various platforms that we, as an industry, support.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

Currently the client services department’s management in our organization must monitor the work queues and manually move people from one role to another as the work demands. We are working to provide systems which allow us to understand the skills of the various people in the organization, calculate the number of people required to complete the work, and automatically change the work those people are assigned, in order to meet the demand.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the financial sector

Our IT strategy covers a wide variety of efforts to reduce costs, improve quality and efficiency. A partial list of that strategy includes:

• The creative use of technology to push information to the people answering customer queries in an easily understandable format.
• Improving our requirements gathering, developing and testing processes to reduce the cost of development.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

Mobile and tablet technology, and social media would be the two trends that are the most interesting. Our marketing, sales and distribution departments are working to leverage these technologies to increase our brand awareness, increase revenue, reduce costs and mitigate risk.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

As an executive IT leader who has been in the industry for many years, I have seen a dramatic change in how our business leaders see IT. In the past, the IT department was looked at as the “end-all, be-all” for technology needs in the organization. Now, technology is ever-present in our lives. Like everyone, Business leaders are touched by technology in their lives outside of work.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

My advice would be to not chase the latest technology. Make sure the technology fits within your organization and is the right solution for the problem.

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