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Addressing Customary Problems with Predefined Solutions

Paul Malchow, SVP- Regional App Development – Americas, IT MetLife
Paul Malchow, SVP- Regional App Development – Americas, IT MetLife

Paul Malchow, SVP- Regional App Development – Americas, IT MetLife

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations
Firstly, it is the Health Care Reform Act, and the diminished employer investment in Employee Benefits.
The next is mobility and support for distribution with mobile platforms in a sustainable, cost effective architecture and the third is the consumerization of IT and a secure response to its challenges from a client, intermediary, and employee perspective. I expect industry providers to offer strategic solutions for all the three, recognizing that adoption will be gradual, probably starting with the most customer facing functions first.
The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier
Aging platforms and aging workforce, coupled with untenable conversion costs for PAS type applications is the center of my concern.
No vendor that I am aware has posed a reasonable approach to these challenges; it is left to each company to develop a customer strategy. It would be great if a vendor had a pre-designed approach, and an optimal solution.
Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen
We are using unstructured data in a variety of ways from U/W to customer service. More and more, commodity hardware and open-source solutions are available to render fast, iterative, and comparatively inexpensive solves to replace the old fashioned ETL-DW-DataMart solutions. Very large and expensive grid computing capabilities remain the order of the day for enterprise risk management.
Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the financial sector
MetLife has committed itself to a large expense gap closure effort. IT is right in the middle of many aspects of this. Thus, our strategy planning has multiple streams for expense improvement in IT, and architecture with the adoption and integration of 3 year Architectural Roadmaps for each of the major product/channel areas.
Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
In my opinion, it is the maturation of collaboration and UCC offerings from various players. As a global firm, the quality of human interactions in IT and IT/Business scenarios is important.

Another area to watch carefully is regulatory and compliance with the potential for large carriers to be deemed SIFI's. Agile is another area we are adopting.
My roles and responsibilities as a CIO
IT is emerging from the back office to the driver of the customer experience. Wherever I look I see IT changing from an enabling to a driving role. Simultaneously, in such margin challengedtimes (10 yr Bond), IT automation to drop back office costs is still a key driver.
Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs
Gaining trust with business partners, so that we are "all-in" together on strategy for business and IT is key in my role. That is gained through reliable delivery, frank and open discourse, and IT being able to drive change where we need it. Simple examples are; maintaining currency on strategic platforms as a table stake. More complex are IT's role in defining the front end customer experience, and leveraging emerging technology in doing so. This is characterized by deep involvement in the front end business planning cycle, all the way through delivery and benefits realization.

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