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CIO Profiles: In Their Own Words

IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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Senior VP and CIO, The Cincinnati Insurance Co.

CAREER TRACK

How long at Cincinnati Insurance: Two and a half years.

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: I'm most proud of being part of the formulation of the Acord Framework. Acord is the insurance industry's standards organization, and the Acord Framework consists of a series of models representing capabilities, processes, information (data and objects) and components for our industry. I believe it will dramatically improve our industry's technical capabilities.

Most important career influencer: My father, who demonstrated a strong work ethic and the value of a great education in engineering. He was a role model on how to find the best out of everyone and everything.

Decision I wish I could do over: There have been a number of times where I should have "ripped the Band-Aid off" when there was a problem. I think the organization would have adjusted better and quicker.

ON THE JOB
IT budget: $140 million

Top initiatives:

  • Improve our commercial policy
  • automation capabilities to serve our agents.
  • Enhance our predictive analytic capabilities.
  • Continue building an enterprise data warehouse.

VISION

The most disruptive force in my industry today: Companies that can fully leverage data will catapult themselves above their competition. Predictive analytics is changing how we think of insurance product development, underwriting, pricing and claims management.

One thing I'm looking to do better: We have an effort to improve our processes and become more flexible in our delivery abilities. We're aligning our processes with the Capability Maturity Model Integrated (CMMI) and implementing methodology changes to accomplish this.

The most common cause when IT projects go wrong: There are many reasons projects can go wrong, from incomplete requirements to inappropriate designs and project plans. Organizations that adhere to their methodologies, align them toward CMMI and follow a strict architecture discipline can mitigate these risks. When I see problems, they're typically in the estimated effort involved; often we think (or hope) projects will be relatively easy.

What I need from tech vendors: I'd like to see more convergence on the mobile front. HTML5 looks promising in that regard.

Kids and tech careers: If my kids wanted a technology career, I'd support them whole-heartedly. I believe a tech career, especially in insurance, is one of the most rewarding an individual could choose.

PERSONAL

Degree: University of Cincinnati, BS in industrial engineering

Tech vendor CEO I respect most: Timothy Cook; taking the reins of Apple from one of the largest icons in technology history must be extremely challenging, but he seems to be doing terrifically

My first job: I was a cook at Famous Recipe Fried Chicken; I've cooked more chicken than most people can eat in a lifetime

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... bummed, because really love the roleRanked No. 27 in the 2012

Ranked No. 27 in the 2012 InformationWeek 500

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