Efficient Ways to Manage Data and Make Effective Decisions

Ryan Fay, CIO, ACI Specialty Benefits
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To keep pace with evolving technological needs and trends, business activities must be conducted much more rapidly and efficiently than ever before. In pursuing this goal, CIOs look for a variety of solutions that can fulfill their IT requirements and help their organization overcome challenges, whether it’s creating a more efficient workflow to increase profitability or developing a minimum viable product (MVP).

Most companies today are shifting from a public to a private cloud, which means that integrating hardware solutions to securely store personally identifiable information (PII) is essential. ACI deals with sensitive employee assistance program and other employee benefits information, so we have a“security-first” approach to infrastructure – and less of a focus on speed – to protect crucial business information. Organizations need to implement business processes safely and strategically, with the ultimate goal of making things easier for users in the long term.

Using Evolving Data

An ever-growing amount of customer and enterprise data makes categorizing data usage necessary for now and for the future. To achieve this, organizations need to collect important data, backup the data in a secure and efficient manner, and make a decision about where the data will be stored—on-premise or in the cloud. CIOs should understand the challenges involved in storing data in different locations, and all the ways to recover data as quickly as possible. At ACI, we’ve built a strategic roadmap to manage the complete lifecycle of data and improve data usage for business efficiency.

Many of ACI’s EAP, wellness program and concierge service clients are in the healthcare industry. Key human resources concerns in this field include reducing high levels of occupational stress, decreasing workers’ compensation costs, strengthening retention and improving recruitment strategies. To support these goals, ACI provides advanced reporting to educate employers and assist with data-driven decision-making.

IT: Talking the Talk

A decade ago, IT was an isolated department at ACI, and still is at many companies. It’s often difficult for an IT executive to conduct meetings and explain IT challenges and solutions to others in non-technical terms. CIOs must have strong communication and presentation skills to ensure understanding and accomplish IT initiatives. Sending a preliminary summary of the discussion topic before a board meeting, and a recap of key points afterwards, can help eliminate miscommunication and confusion,especially when talking about a technical concept which may be difficult to grasp.

Fostering Success

For CIOs, the two most important factors for achieving success are learning from failure and past mistakes, and having a real understanding of business needs. At ACI, the IT team puts significant time and effort into building relationships with other departments. My staff is able to tell me what’s happening at every level of the business, which allows me to relay accurate information to executives and enables the whole team to make productive decisions.

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