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SMA's Insurance Transformation, Where Strategy Meets Action

Deb Smallwood

IT Governance: IT Is Still Driving

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After years of analyzing this challenge, it has become very clear. The real reason why we still have a gap in IT goverance is - it is just as easy for the business to step back and let IT own, drive, and lead. As one looks at the skills and experience to IT governance, it tends to lean toward the profile of an IT executive - analytical and project management experience, business and technology savvy. These skills naturally align to the governance process. It is also essential and part of the critical path for the governance process to work. It is the IT executive's full time job, to execute and delver IT initiatives - the output of the governance process.

But unlike IT, business leaders have their own full type jobs and tend to be operational focused. So often, their goals and performance bonuses do not include IT success, they are busy and actually intimidated by the essence of new technologies. So they fall into the trap of turning over the governance to IT. And when project fail, when there are problems, the finger pointing game, the spinning just happens. Here, probably, is where the problem originates. When business leaves the managing of IT projects to IT alone, or look to IT to "do it all," governance becomes disconnected, and the company suffers. If we go back to the simple fundamentals, both business and IT have clear roles and responsibilities. It's a shared responsibility and process.

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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