During the time American International Group (AIG) was on the government lifeline following the 2008-'09 financial crisis, the company significantly restructured, downsized and streamlined itself, and is now expanding its core insurance business. The strategy appears to be working—the US government has sold off the last of its stake in AIG, and even made a $22.7 billion in profit on the deal.
To get back on the road to sustainable business growth and profitability, AIG has been relying heavily on IT to help achieve greater efficiencies and market responsiveness. At the heart of AIG's business transformation has been AIG’s Global Performance Architecture Group, which has been relentlessly focusing on improving the performance of services to deliver better experiences and payoffs for businesses and end-users.
Recently, industry analyst Dana Gardner spoke with Abe Naguib, senior director of AIG’s Global Performance Architecture Group, which has been leading the way with a performance center of excellence (COE) to help drive business transformation.
(Dana Gardner's link)
(Abe Naquib's link)
AIG’s mantra has become "better, faster, cheaper," Naquib explains, and to attain this vision, IT has been focusing on performance, application lifecycle management (ALM), and business service management (BSM), as well as project and portfolio management (PPM).
The bottom line is that AIG has, as is the case of many carriers, become a software and data company. “I always say that software drives the hardware,” Naquib says. “Whether I communicate with the enterprise architects, the dev teams, the infrastructure teams, software drives the hardware. If you start managing your root cost and performance from a software perspective and then work your way out, you’ve got the key to unlocking everything from efficiencies to optimizing your ROI and to addressing TCO over time. It's all business driven.”
With AIG under a glaring public spotlight to quickly get back into profitability on a solid business foundation, the pressure was on to get the right technology into place as quickly as possible. The key was to have the business and IT departments work so closely that they were practically one single unit. Plus, as Naquib describes it, operating as a single enterprise: “the big transformation taking place right now is that our organization is connecting different silos of IT delivery, in particular development, quality, and operations,” he says.
IT managers worked closely with the business right from the start, Naquib adds. “The key is bringing together our business-critical and strategic drivers across IT’s various segments fosters alignment, agility, and eventually unity. Now, our leaders seek our guidance to help tune IT at some degree of financial performance to unlock optimal business value.”
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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