Reader Feedback On February, March 2003 Issues of CIO Magazine: Cigna, IT Best Practices, Open Source

Cigna Article Was Off-Base

Your March 15 article ["Cigna’s Self-Inflicted Wounds"], about Cigna HealthCare’s transformation initiative to integrate its customer service relationship management system, missed the mark on a number of levels. Let me address just two: the initiative’s results and its management.

While there were significant challenges associated with the company’s migration of some of its customers from multiple legacy systems to a new system in January 2002, those issues have been addressed. The result is that currently 5 million Cigna HealthCare members are receiving the benefits of this new system, including quality customer service, faster claims management, quicker call center resolution, and more robust online reporting and transaction tools. Millions more will be receiving the benefits of this system in the future.

Moreover, the article unfairly maligned the role of Cigna’s CIO, Andrea Anania. Andrea and the entire systems community have worked closely with Cigna HealthCare to turn around the challenges faced by the business early last year. As a result, our midyear 2002 and January 2003 migrations have gone well, our customer satisfaction scores are up, and our technology is now clearly competitive.

Ed Hanway

Chairman and CEO

Cigna

Where’s The Leadership?

I just finished reading the article in CIO outlining the failed Cigna systems rollout. CIO Andrea Anania portrays herself as a victim of circumstance, overtaxed and unable to control the project. What I see is a CIO who provides weak leadership, assigns blame to others and hides behind excuses.

When she stood up and declared that she had successfully reengineered her company’s IT, did she forget that there is no "I" in team? It is lonely at the top, but it is a lot lonelier when you take all the praise and none of the criticism. The reason Anania can proclaim, "These days, projects are completed on time and within budget," is because these days, successful leaders have embraced integrity, honesty and accountability as cornerstones of their management philosophy.

I am sure that the colleagues and consultants Anania fed to the wolves to keep her job learned some hard lessons about integrity, honesty and accountability.

Nick Camino

ncamino@sbcglobal.net

Beware Of Reinventing The Wheel

Michael Schrage’s column "Worst Practice" [Feb. 15] makes a good point, that we must not blindly copy the best practices of others without considering the impacts on all of our stakeholders. But the article presents us with a dilemma?is he saying that we should ignore all external experience and try to invent everything ourselves? Wouldn’t this be, in many cases, reinventing the wheel?

How can we assume that our situation is so unique that we can learn nothing from anyone else? And how can we assume that our managers are creative enough to think up the best solution?

I just don’t think this is realistic because if it were, there would be no market for consultants, no research on business, no books written with management advice?and perhaps no point in teaching management.

I have known some managers who felt this way and didn’t read anything. I wish they had.

Paul Arveson

paul@arveson.com

Open Source: More Coverage Needed

Well, it’s about time! Thank you for laying out in the March 15 issue ["Your Open-Source Plan"] what many of us have realized for years: That open source is fast becoming a very viable alternative to proprietary operating systems. Having a number of articles discussing tangible real-world benefits will hopefully serve to educate more CIOs, many of whom have unfortunately been persuaded more by marketing than reality.

Bob Fately

Vice President, Third Wave

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Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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