It's National IT Professionals Day
Bill Sinn and Gary Ouellette | September 18, 2018
For many, the IT professional is the unsung hero of the business world. From desktops to laptops…from databases to applications…from servers to networks…these professionals serve as the backbone of the company, keeping systems running and work productivity hot.
Today we recognize the millions of IT professionals around the world as we celebrate National IT Professionals Day! We took the opportunity to ask Gary Ouellette from Union Mutual , one of our ITA board members, how he got started in the business, what he likes about IT, and what sage advice he has for newcomers to the IT world. Here are his comments:
Q. How did you get recruited into the insurance industry?
A. Union Mutual was a client of mine when I was in the IT/high-tech business.
Q. What was your first position in the insurance industry? How many years have you been in insurance?
A. I started as an IT manager and I’ve been in the business for 28 years.
Q. What do you like about this industry? What don’t you like about it?
A. I like that we help restore people’s lives when the worst happens; insurance is actually a necessary public service. It is the same reason I am a volunteer firefighter -- on someone’s worst day, we are there to help. The increased frequency and severity of weather events in the current climate cycle is the part I like the least.
Q. What do you see as the biggest challenges of the industry?
A. (Today) To simplify the product so it is clearly and totally understandable to the consumer.
A. (Tomorrow) Being able to identify the winners -- the ones with the best ideas -- from a sea of non-starters in the InsureTech world.
Q. What is your technical expertise?
A. My education is in computer science and project management, but my passion is in forming groundbreaking strategy along with creating high performing teams.
Q. What do you enjoy about the rise of technology and the intersection with the business side of insurance?
A. As evidenced by the ITA Bridge Award, technology must be connected and driven by the business need. When closely coupled to the business, tech can be game changing and a force multiplier. At times, technology can even be disruptive to the business as we know it but there is always a business tie-in there.
Q. Do you have any words of wisdom for new people coming into the industry?
A. Learn everything you can from all aspects of the organization – and then question every process. Seek constant improvement and never forget the core purpose of insurance.
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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
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