The theory of evolution is a funny thing. It’s widely accepted as scientific fact and the way of things, yet it can’t be proven or disproven emphatically. Much the same might be said of the position of chief information officer. While it exists, it has never been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is a position that has evolved into an indispensable part of an insurance company’s executive staff.

Executive Summary

The position of chief information officer is not as well established in the executive ranks on P/C insurance carrier organizational charts as the chief operating officer or chief financial officer. But that's not a bad thing in evolutionary terms, argues Consultant Frank Petersmark. The situation presents the continuing opportunity for CIOs to adapt the characteristics of the position to those that best serve their organizations, he writes, also noting that some CIOs already evolved to important positions leading business strategy and innovation efforts.

Be that as it may, and despite all evidence that would argue against such an occurrence, it seems that as spring approaches another evolutionary year has passed in the life of the CIO. That’s one more year of dealing with all of the things that others said so desperately needed to be dealt with—big data, innovation, core system modernization—to name but a few.And yet, CIOs and their companies survived, some even thrived, and in the main most of their companies held their own in their respective marketplaces. And for another year CIOs evolved.

The beginning of spring seems like a good time to inquire as to the evolutionary state of this exotic species of executive, and to opine on its potential for longer-term survival. Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was first published in 1859, in which Darwin posited on the means by which some species survive and some perish.

Member Only Content

To continue reading, purchase this article or become a member.

*Already have an account? Click here to login