Preparing To Transform Aging Application Portfolios

Cristopher A Graham, CIO, Church Mutual Insurance Company
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Cristopher A Graham, CIO, Church Mutual Insurance Company

Cristopher A Graham, CIO, Church Mutual Insurance Company

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

My biggest wish would be to have a tool that reviews critical business applications and can someway harvest the business logic that only exists in the code and is forgotten because the resources who created the solutions have left the company(retired) and the next generation of workers do not have the experience to maintain and transform the business logic to a new set of tools.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

We are in the process of switching technology stacks and migrating our core business applications to a new platform. Business logic and knowledge is embedded into the program code and does not exist in our documentation. If there was a way to harvest business logic from  code to guarantee business functionality will not be lost, this would be very useful. The switch in technology stack requires a more highly designed and tuned security solution. Data and service security from unauthorized access because of a cloud deployment needs to be more fully developed.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

The first trend is big data. Being an insurance company means we have access to a tremendous amount of data. Building out a more robust information based environment using the data is going to provide a real value to the organization.

Second trend is mobility and cloud computing. Being able to deploy key applications to the cloud and access the services through a number of mobile access points will offer a more cost effective model and easier platform to conduct business.

My roles and responsibilities as CIO

The biggest difference in my role as CIO is the change of focus from Solution Provider to more of Business/Enterprise Architect. More of my time is spent determining the impacts technology changes will have on the growth and profitability of the organization and how changes will impact the flow of work through the organization.

Lessons learned as a CIO

One, do not underestimate the complexity of moving to SOA and Agile methods. Two, spend more time with the business to understand organizational change management with regards to technology changes. Three, have the courage and be prepared to transform aging application portfolios to meet the future demands of the company. The cost of change is high both economically and professionally, but now our focus should be on sponsoring and implementing a set of modern services that will not limit business opportunities for growth and profitability.

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