It’s a widely accepted truism in this new millennium—if not an entirely proven one—that technology drives innovation and innovation drives competitive advantage. Whether or not that’s completely true, what is true is that insurance companies are increasing their IT investments, and those investments are becoming part of a strategic portfolio of investments that will become the drivers for the future of the company, for better or worse. Executive SummaryEverything a company does from a technological perspective has the potential to impact all of its stakeholders, not just its employees, argues consultant Frank Petersmark. Providing examples that include failed mergers and acquisitions resulting from incompatible technology platforms and poor customer service platforms in addition to cybersecurity breaches, he argues that more P/C companies should consider inviting chief information officers to sit on their boards of directors.
Those investments are being made in such areas as core systems, business intelligence and analytics, cloud infrastructures and services, customer-facing applications including mobile ones, cybersecurity, digitization of the enterprise, and many others that one way or another will impact a company’s top- or bottom-line revenues, again for better or worse.
So with all of these investments of time, resources and money, it’s curious that more companies do not have either current or former chief information officers as part of their boards. After all, the pattern for doing so already exists. Nearly every board has directors who at one time or another performed one of the company functions the board oversees. On most boards, you will find current or former chief executive officers, chief operating officers, chief financial officers, chief actuaries or auditors, and the like. So where are the chief information officers?