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Today’s post was written by James McGlennon, executive vice president and CIO at Liberty Mutual Insurance Group.
The insurance business is all about protecting the assets that people value most. We continuously seek out the latest tools and technology to help better serve our customers through innovative products and services.
With more than 50,000 employees and 900 global locations, Liberty Mutual experiences the unique industry challenges of the insurance business on a large scale. Internet startups are well placed to take advantage of mobile, cloud-based technologies. Competitors are looking for ways to disrupt our value chain and commandeer aspects of our customer relationships. This is why it’s key that we stay one step ahead of the threats and opportunities all around us. We are currently transforming our own IT organization to better position us for future success and meet the evolving expectations of our customers and employees.
Today, we are harnessing the scale and expertise of our global workforce. Innovation and breakthrough ideas can come from anywhere in our company, and as we transform, it’s essential that we enable our employees to improve and collaborate, regardless of location. Teams sharing insights across India, Turkey, Portugal or Spain, and the United States, for example, can power the development of product breakthroughs that we import and export around the world.
Everything we do as part of the IT organization is based on our ability to analyze data in all its forms. As our organization continues to evolve, several products and platforms position us well to transform our business. Office 365, for example, helps us respond faster to market changes. We are moving to a more agile development process, where smaller, multi-disciplinary employee groups will collaborate on new products more efficiently, bridging the gap between IT and the business. With chat-based, real-time collaboration, we’ll increase the proportion of people across the company who work together to build innovative new products in a continuous development model so we can grow our business in the digital age.
To do this, we are partnering with companies like Microsoft to help us put important business analytics tools in the hands of everyone, not just analysts and power users, striking the right balance between being easy to use and producing sophisticated insights to drive product innovation. Business users in Claims, Legal, Reinsurance and HR can quickly glean information from dashboards and KPIs using products such as Microsoft Power BI, which enables us to open millions of rows of data for analysis by a much larger number of people. The tools provide visual interpretations and immediate insights valuable to our daily operations and formulation of new strategies.
Millennials entering the business through our internship programs expect a mobile, connected workplace, which is why we are focused on online document storage to access and share documents without the pitfalls and versioning issues of email, all while keeping security a top priority. The security of sharing documents within the Office 365 platform means we can move collaboration and productivity to the forefront of our employees’ experience, without worrying about inappropriate access to files. Azure Active Directory simplifies how we manage user identity and access policies while we enjoy the benefits of having all our documents available on a smartphone, mobile device or laptop.
As we continue to transform our IT organization, we are focused on attracting top technology talent and leveraging emerging technologies to develop innovative solutions. These products and solutions are critical to our future success and will enable us to meet the changing expectations of our customers.