When John W. Hayden went off to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a president's symposium on technology in 1999, a professional epiphany wasn't on his personal radar screen.The president, chairman and CEO of American Modern Insurance Group Inc., Amelia, Ohio, already had a game plan on how to retool the specialty carrier's business strategy and its information technology strategy. It called for the technology strategy to run in parallel with the business strategy.

"At MIT I realized that I was wrong, really wrong about dual tracks for technology and business," admits Hayden. "I realized that the technology strategy needs to be completely intertwined with your business strategy. They shouldn't be two separate plans. They need to be one and the same."

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