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The CIO as the ultimate insider

Divina Paredes | Dec. 18, 2012
Kevin Angland, CIO of IAG New Zealand, has the distinctive experience of working across most areas of the insurance industry.

Kevin Angland, CIO of IAG New Zealand, has the distinctive experience of working across most areas of the insurance industry.

"I am an insurance professional first and I have grown my career across to the IT path of the organisation," says Angland, who became CIO of New Zealand's largest insurer five months ago.

His early jobs included a stint in sales, an experience he finds useful today.

"When the business comes to us with an opportunity, an issue or a concern, I don't find it too hard to immediately connect with what they are talking about, having had some exposure to that in past roles in the industry."

Angland says part of his CIO role is making sure his staff "really understand what drives this business" and how they can add value.

"We put a customer lens in everything we do,"says Angland. "If this is not going to help the customers or provide value to the customers, we do have to ask the question, why are we doing this?"

Across the enterprise

Angland was appointed CIO following over a year as head of software solutions and three years as head of business systems at IAG. He succeeded Allan Dornan, now chief operating officer.

Before IAG, he had worked at Tower and as a project management consultant.

IAG is number 34 in this year's MIS100, the annual report on the largest IT user organisations in New Zealand.

The latest report says IAG has 297 staff managing 5187 screens. Angland says this figure includes the 80- to 100-strong technology team from AMI, the insurance company IAG acquired this year.

Angland first joined IAG while working on the Endeavour project, a $50 million IT undertaking to build a single customer account management application for IAG's two local subsidiaries. The project was canned but Angland, who was then a contractor for systems integrator CGNZ, says one thing stayed on his mind -- that IAG was "great environment to workin".

He came back the following year as a consultant to an organisational change programme and was invited to head the Project Management Office.

"It was quite an easy decision to make to come on board," says Angland, who had already made some friends among the staff. "So seven or eight years later, I am still here."

From the PMO, he moved to the IT side of the business, as head of business systems. In September 2011, he moved into a "pure IT role" as head of software solutions.

Angland says that for a while one of his biggest concerns was that if ever he wanted to become a CIO, he would have to leave IAG. But the CIO role opened up when Allan Dornan stepped up to become chief operating officer. So when Angland became CIO, he continued to report to the same boss.


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