CIO Profiles: Brian Flynn Of Crawford & Co. - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // IT Strategy

CIO Profiles: Brian Flynn Of Crawford & Co.

The mantra of this CIO: Do things better, faster, and cheaper, with a focus on innovation.

Career Track

Brian Flynn Global CIO and Senior VP, Crawford & Co.

Brian Flynn
Global CIO and Senior VP, Crawford & Co.

How long at Crawford & Co.: Four years at this claims management services company.

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Over my time here, members of our technology team have become trusted partners focused on business initiatives. Our technology group, working closely with the business side, spearheaded programs such as Crawford Innovates, a global campaign that promotes innovation, and Crawford Business Process Improvement, an agenda that advances process innovation.

Decision I wish I could do over: While it's important to give everyone a chance to succeed, earlier in my career I sometimes held on too long to underperforming staff. Having the right people is the recipe to ensure top performing teams.

On The Job

IT budget: $90 million

Size of IT team: 400

Top initiatives:

  • A global program using the Appian BPM Suite that focuses on business process improvement (operational efficiencies and effectiveness) and automation.
  • Execution of our three-year strategic plan.
  • A program that includes social media crowdsourcing of employee ideas as well as brainstorming with select teams to tackle technology and business problems.

How I measure IT effectiveness: We've created a comprehensive ROI tool that helps drive decisions by detailing our investments in technology and defining financial improvements in a profit-and-loss format. We also use IT employee engagement surveys and a project delivery dashboard, among other methods.


One thing I'm looking to do better: I'd like to do things better, faster, and cheaper, with a focus on innovation. This has always been a priority of our technology team, but the need is accelerating. It's becoming more important to rid our company of legacy systems and replace them with products that are more efficient and adaptable.

Lesson learned from the recession: Companies must make technology investments a priority even in the most difficult economic times--and increase them if at all possible.

What the federal government's top technology priority should be: It should encourage businesses to invest in technology, perhaps by providing additional tax incentives.

Kids and technology careers: I would steer children to a career in technology. Opportunities for agile technology teams with business acumen are abundant. Those who can lead, innovate, and implement will have a bright future.


Degrees: Appalachian State University, BS in business administration with majors in technology, finance, and economics

Business leader I'd like to have lunch with: Peter Drucker--if I could regularly execute on a tenth of his teachings, I'd be extremely successful

Pet peeve: Criticizing an idea without proposing an alternative solution

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... a research analyst; I love taking on the challenge of solving a problem

Ranked No. 36 in the 2011 InformationWeek 500

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