Nationwide CIO’s ride-along sparks innovation and pays dividends

Spending time learning the business helped CIO Jim Fowler open eyes to a little-known Nationwide API platform and dive deeper into emerging technology such as virtual reality and AI.

Nationwide CIO’s ride-along sparks innovation and pays dividends
Thinkstock

Insurance companies are walking the tightrope between modernizing back-office systems and creating digital tools that create frictionless experiences for agents and customers alike, as Jim Fowler learned when he joined Nationwide as CIO in 2018.

Fowler, fresh off an 18-year career in various tech leadership roles at General Electric, spent his first 90 days listening to associates, agents, members, and suppliers. He also took calls in Nationwide’s call centers to learn how to field calls from plan members.

The early sleuthing also revealed a hidden gem in the form of a developer platform Nationwide engineers had created for making APIs available to third parties. “They had this great platform, but nobody had talked to the commercial team,” Fowler recalls.

Recognizing the potential that platforms hold for generating revenue, Fowler opened a dialogue between his IT department and business development teams to launch the platform into the market.

To continue reading this article register now

Survey says! Share your insights in our 19th annual State of the CIO study