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Career Story: Information Technology Executive For An Insurance Company

Information Technology Executive For An Insurance Company

Job Title: Assistant Vice President - IT

Type of Company: I work for an insurance company in upstate New York.

Education: BS, Computer Science •• FLMI, CLU [insurance industry distinctions]

Previous Experience: Programmer Trainee, Manager - IT

Job Tasks: I work in the Information Technology area managing teams of program developers who maintain and enhance policy administrations systems. This includes managing teams offshore. I am responsible for all aspects of the system, including updates to infrastructure. I also provide support for all product development initiatives.

I also responsible for all policy administration budgets. This includes both total dollars and total effort hours. I am responsible for performance of all my direct reports but I also am responsible for the management of our Underwriting/ New Business systems working directly with underwriting directors

We respond to any system outages. We are required to have 24X7 coverage. Our teams also handle multiple ad hoc requests to support business initiatives . I also maintain relationships with many vendors, engaging these groups as needed to troubleshoot issues and assess system enhancements. I am responsible for the contracts in place with each of these vendors and for any Statement of Work that is developed for providing additional support.

I negotiate with the business to determine work priorities, balancing that with any Information Technology specific projects that is required . I report to the Chief Technology Officer providing weekly updates on project initiatives, root cause analysis of any system issues and monthly budget updates

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Having to be "available" 24 X 7 is probably the most difficult aspect of the job. I have been engaged for more than twenty-four hours at times, working through system issues. There is a great deal of pressure to get system issues resolved each night, as there are many people who need those systems to cycle overnight so they can do their jobs the next day.

I enjoy working with my business partners to resolve business issues, by developing software solutions that meet their needs.

Job Tips:
1. Learn the business. You can't just understand "IT", know the business you are in.

2. Continue your education, and expand your skill set.

3. Be open to new methods. Challenge the norm.

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