The company is one of Southern Africa’s largest short-term insurance brokers, providing access to both personal and commercial lines insurance across a wide variety of coverage types.
The CEO and executive team, guided by the CIO in a previous engagement, had identified that the infrastructure and systems used by the company were not fit for purpose; the company had grown significantly over a 10-year period and had acquired many physical and software assets. Whilst the executive management team were very experienced in matters related to financial services, the business had never had a permanent technology executive.
It was recognised that the lack of a technology strategy and roadmap was preventing the business from competing against far more agile competitors.
- Take responsibility for the day-to-day technology management and direction of the business.
- Implement a wholesale overhaul of the technology infrastructure to support proper communication and cooperation across a diverse branch infrastructure with multiple operating models.
- Consolide 20+ administration platforms into a single customer view and interaction facility with only 1 personal line and 3 specialist commercial systems
- Work with the CEO to design and build a technology and product roadmap to support both the growth and competitiveness of the business.
- Introduce IT management governance and standards that complied with all internal and external audit requirements.
- Lead the application of discipline across all employees in terms of service provision expectations.
- Implement and manage a fiscally sound IT budgeting framework.
What the CIO Did
The following were all executed on parallel timelines.
Scoped and led the implementation of an entirely new networking infrastructure including the introduction of IP telephony with recording services to satisfy regulatory requirements, to 30+ locations and over 600 staff.
Led the rationalisation of multiple service providers covering the same areas of services over the branch network (each acquisition had brought their own service providers).
Right-sized the internal support staff providing the same support services and appointed individuals to key areas of support that had not previously been identified.
Led the selection and appointment of a single outsourced service provider to cover desktop, network, telephony, and server infrastructure support.
Conceived, architected, designed, and led the development of a platform espousing a radical and new to the industry, distributed customer management model to deliver world-class customer service, that integrated best-of-breed user experience, customer relationship management and integrated insurance administration.
Negotiated and implemented a single software license strategy, the largest for a broker at the time, to cover the company’s desktop and infrastructure requirements with the biggest vendor in the market, for the first time in the company’s history, avoiding significant fines for non-compliance.
Successfully championed the use of IT to drive and enable business alignment and process simplification while maintaining obligations to customers and insurance partners.
As a result of spearheading the creation of the five-year strategic IT road map, significantly contributing to the overall group strategic plan, and clearly communicating the risk surrounding the replacement needs for end-of-life infrastructures and line-of-business systems to the board and shareholders resulting in unprecedented investment to resolve these issues.
Introduced the Six Sigma set of methodologies and tools to improve business processes by reducing defects and errors, minimizing variation, and increasing quality and efficiency and established and staffed a centre of process excellence within the business.
Conceived and championed the development of a comprehensive, end-to-end line-of-business platform to allow Indwe to leapfrog its competition.
Additionally, the IT organisation was upgraded to world-class standards on a limited budget and the technology team drove many initiatives to enhance service delivery and increase the availability and stability of IT services to the group (R50m+ budget per annum).