The Expanding Importance of the Chief Information Officer for Life, Accident and Health Insurers –
Today’s business leaders need to keep up with digital innovations and must understand how technology can benefit their organizations as well as all related risks. Traditionally, Life, Accident and Health carriers relied upon highly trained actuaries to invent new products, calculate risk, set premiums, and generally keep their companies solvent. In many of the leading regulated markets, a CEO of a life and health carrier had to be a qualified actuary. Today there is a credible argument for a career path to the CEO position to include a stint as Chief Information Officer for a carrier. The CIO and internal IT team need to focus on partnering with their business colleagues as well as vendor selection, collaboration, and ongoing management.
Today the CIO needs to be as focused on business strategy as they are on technology and systems. These changes are coming fast as CIOs move to support the business goals of digital customer experience, operational excellence, business flexibility, and innovation. The CIO must appreciate the business’s challenges, strategies, and goals, and be a leader who can influence C-suite colleagues with respect to how technology will support and deliver business improvements. This key position plays a pivotal role in the digital transformation of the company and must work closely with all parts of the business to be most effective. In as much as the CEO and C-suite executives need to be aware of the power that digital brings to the business, the CIO must maintain a strong understanding of the different areas of the business so that ideas and learning are shared in two directions: business to IT and IT to business.
The CIO plays a big role in the success of any organization – driving innovation, supporting digital transformation, digital sales, and e-commerce, as well as enabling business strategy and enterprise change. With the rapid growth of digitalization and the need to modernize core systems and technology, the role of the CIO is certainly one that requires the vision, skills, personal dynamic, and energy levels of a top-class leader capable of becoming a future CEO. We still need actuaries but future business performance will be won and lost on digital performance!