NZ health insurer pursues simplification with HR and IT in close alliance

20 spreadsheets and multiple tools comprised the HR tool set for 800 people. So Southern Cross Health Insurance replaced them all with a single suite.

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Cross-functional partnerships are the key to many successful IT deployments, as Southern Cross Health Insurance discovered when it sought a new HR system. It found great value in getting the digital team involved right from the get-go, even before they understood the full extent of what they required from the tool.

vicki caisley southern cross medical care society Southern Cross Medical Care Society

Vicki Caisley, chief people and strategy officer, Southern Cross Health Insurance

Chief people and strategy officer Vicki Caisley says that the organisation had a strategic priority around process simplification and digitisation, which she understood to mean it applied not only to customer-facing staff but to internally facing teams as well. So together, the HR and IT teams embarked on a business-led deployment designed to simplify the entire HR experience for 800 employees.

Caisley says it was important to get IT on board at the start. At the outset, they formed a cross-functional team comprising of digital and HR professionals to scope the project and research the market. “That team stayed together the whole way through the procurement. They helped us identify what solutions are out there; they helped us assess them using a framework that meant we were comparing apples with apples,” Caisley says.

“From the business side, don’t undervalue the expertise that your digital team can offer to what might look like, on the surface, a business project,” she says. “We made a really good decision by having that additional expertise. And it worked both ways: They could understand the business problem we were trying to solve, and we could understand the technology better by having them there in room with us.”

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