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SMA's Insurance Transformation, Where Strategy Meets Action

Deb Smallwood

IT Governance: A True Confession

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While I was a CIO, I actually found myself implementing with the business these simple fundamentals, creating a balanced governance process with clear roles and responsibilities, formalizing the priority setting, SDLC and project management capability. But over time, with the goal to quickly execute and delver, I found that I wanted to circumvent the process that I was creating. I actually wanted to just drive the process to make things happen. After aligning strategy to plans, I was clear what on the business and IT roadmap and the technology solutions necessary to achieve the business strategies and plans. I had aligned IT to support the business on the people, process and technology side. The business had aligned to IT with the creating of new roles as well. But the reality was, the business had a learning curve. This was not a criticism on their ability and desire to participate -but the time it takes to understand and assume the new roles and responsibility and follow a new process. Believe it or not, IT governance for the business is not natural. And I had to mindfully to go back to the fundamental principles, allow the business to take ownership and accountability for their part in the process.

For all of us to make IT governance a success in any organization, it truly is a partnership that will always be an evolving process, which requires patience and perseverance. And keep it simple!

This is an excerpt from a feature article in Tech Decision CIO Insights March Issues 2009, authored by Deb Smallwood, Founder of SMA Inc.


The purpose of the SMA blog is create a dialogue around insurance transformation; launching a different perspective on linkage between strategy, process and technology choices and shifting the mindset from a technology driven approach with SOA & BPM to a business driven service-oriented thinking that creates agile and flexible new insurance business models. Look for a wide gambit of trends, research, case studies, and insights on making transformation a reality.

Deb Smallwood

"I grew up in the insurance industry and have experienced the shackles that ineffective business processes with misaligned monolithic technology solutions have placed on insurance companies...

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Karen Furtado

Karen Furtado brings a wealth of industry knowledge to SMA. She spent 25 years at CGI, focused in insurance. Her specific areas of expertise include product development, complex system implementations, vendor selection processes, project management and business and IT outsourcing services. Her passion is working with both technology providers and carriers to deliver high-value solutions for core issues facing the industry. Karen actively participates as an industry speaker.


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