Centralizing IT by creating a separate company is a strategy that USAA, Prudential and Kemper have pursued to bring greater financial accountability to their IT operations.When USAA created its technology subsidiary in January 1998, the primary objective for the standalone, for-profit company was to introduce financial discipline to the San Antonio-based organization's procurement of information technology.

Judging from last year's results, USAA Information Technology Co.'s (ITCO) mission has been accomplished. The company's total expenditures were 20% below the projected budget, a "100 percent reversal" from the results a year earlier, says Stephen Yates, president of ITCO.

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