MetLife CIO on why ‘internet of behaviours’ is the next big tech trend


6 days ago

Lynne Clegg. Image: MetLife Europe

MetLife Europe’s Lynne Clegg discusses the internet of behaviours, the use of data and how digital transformation has become a given.

Lynne Clegg is chief information officer of insurance giant MetLife Europe, which has been based in Ireland for the last 15 years with offices in Dublin and Galway.

In her role, Clegg works across 15 markets to deliver IT services and to execute on the company’s technology strategy to deliver digital experiences for the customer.

Prior to MetLife, she was head of IT and head of strategic and business change delivery at Generali Insurance, supporting offshore and pan-European markets.

During her career in Generali, she also held leadership roles in programme and project management, business analysis and software development. She also has experience in investment management and software consultancy in public and private organisations.

“As a technology leader, it is critical that I have the business acumen needed to ensure that business and technology strategies are integrated and customer centric,” she told Siliconrepublic.com.

‘I am trying to encourage my team to experiment without the fear of failure’
– LYNNE CLEGG

Are you spearheading any major product or IT initiatives you can tell us about?

Our transformation is continuous and in response to customer needs, we are moving from traditional project delivery methodologies to product aligned end-to-end agile delivery.

Although we have worked with these methodologies for some time, we are evolving our capabilities incrementally with multidisciplinary teams and the introduction of additional contemporary skillsets. We are empowering teams with the introduction of communities of practice, on-demand cloud infrastructure and DevOps capabilities.

I am also excited about my involvement in both EMEA and global technology diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. I truly believe that ‘if you can’t see it, you can’t be it’. As a senior leader, I am taking the opportunity to reach back and support the personal development and career progression of women in technology. I am also planning to launch a ‘women in technology’ initiative across our EMEA region, connecting talented and like-minded team members.

How big is your team?

I have an amazing team of talented and dedicated technologists who bring their best to the role every day, in support of our MetLife purpose. My team is located across all 15 countries. By introducing more centralised and shared services via our technology hub in Galway, we have benefitted from their collaboration and sharing of solutions, knowledge and expertise.

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We leverage a number of internal MetLife shared services teams for infrastructure, IT operations, application maintenance and software engineering. We do have strategic vendor relationships in both onshore and offshore locations, giving us the benefit of resource flexibility when needed. It is important to us that we retain product and business knowledge within the team so that we can react quickly to business needs.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation?

Digital, digitisation and digital transformation can have many definitions depending on the organisation. For me, it is the ability to adapt continuously to changing customer expectations, competitive products and services, market pressures, and to pandemics!

Digital is now a hygiene factor, a given. As customers, we all expect a seamless and remarkable experience. This requires the integration of technology into all areas of a business. A successful transformation requires all leaders to actively participate in envisioning new ways of operating, regardless of their role. It also requires the courage to challenge the status quo. It’s not always a comfortable place to be!

As a leader, I am trying to encourage my team to experiment without the fear of failure, to challenge bureaucracy and to put themselves in the shoes of our customers in every decision they take.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and in insurance specifically?

I am fascinated by the internet of behaviours. The ability to analyse data to predict and influence a future response is such a powerful concept. It opens up huge opportunities to engage and communicate with customers, solving problems that they may not even have known they had!

In insurance, some of these trends are not new, for example, tracking vehicle use to identify driving behaviours. The pandemic response has demonstrated how quickly we can introduce technologies for emerging problems like contact tracing, vaccination status and face mask recognition. However, the debate will continue in relation to the acceptable use of data and how organisations can gain the trust from their customers to do so for these purposes.

In terms of security, what are your thoughts on how we can better protect data?

We all have a critical role to play in protecting data whether it is our own personal data or the data we manage in a professional capacity.

When we consider the motive, sophistication and resources of potential external threats, we should plan for a situation where an incident will happen. With this mindset, we can better enable our people, processes and technology to monitor, respond and recover.

At MetLife, we promote continuous learning, cyber awareness training and we share information that deepens the global understanding of the emerging threats.

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