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Evolving Constantly with the Changing Trends is the Key to Success

Randy Paez, Chief Information Officer, Arch Insurance Group

Randy Paez, Chief Information Officer, Arch Insurance Group

As an accomplished technology leader, Randy Paez, the current CIO of Arch Insurance, has been instrumental in leading Dev, Product, Innovation, Operations, Transformations, and Cloud. Paez began his career journey as a software engineer by writing claims management software in a small startup. He grew to lead software management teams during his tenure in that insurance startup and moved to the learning and education space, where he built software for ed-tech and tutored underprivileged kids. Paez later moved to health and media company WebMD.com and led software engineering teams for the primary site of the company. He soon got an opportunity to work for an insurance third party administrator to lead their software organization. 

Taking his experience from insurance, consumer, education, and public space, Paez again moved back to the insurance space and led the development and engineering teams for York, which was a monoline regional TPA. During his time at York, he held multiple roles, including business intelligence, innovation officer, and information officer, and facilitated the organization’s growth to become a multiline national risk management company handling claims, managed care services, and risk control. He later spent time growing Jencap, a national insurance broker, MGA, and program manager, organically and inorganically before moving to Arch Insurance. 

Following is the conversation that Insurance CIO Outlook Magazine had with Paez.

What are the major pain points that the insurance CIOs are facing today and what are the trends emerging currently in the market to tackle these challenges?

Talent attraction and retention is the biggest challenge currently in the insurance market. The sheer amount of opportunities in the technology space is further driven by the COVID pandemic. Every business is looking for technology experts as organizations transform digitally, seeking efficiency and broader distribution channels. This talent war is not limited to the insurance industry alone but extends to every vertical where CIOs are battling to build the best teams.  To be clear, the talent wars are over: the talent won.

“We must never be satisfied with what’s in front of us in order to find better ways to succeed ”

We are currently in a hard market, which is favorable for insurance carriers. However, insurance is a cyclical space. The hard markets will ultimately lead to a soft market and later will convert into a hard market again. And the cycle repeats. Considering the macro segment trend and how it affects the IT area, we need to find effective ways to make our organization efficient. We must utilize these opportunities—that the hard market brought—to invest in the operations and platforms that make us efficient and enable us to process documents and data with fewer touchpoints. This allows our staff, the insurance, underwriting, and risk experts, to have more options and opportunities to choose the right risk and assess where to place it in service of our customer.

Please tell us about a recent project initiative where you have been leveraging these trends to make the project successful. 

We have numerous automation initiatives around data and work management and underwriting experience. Our company’s digital and data transformation is enabling us to connect with more customers in the marketplace and make more informed decisions about the organization’s operations and the risks we place. Using data, we are able to explore opportunities in the marketplace more intelligently and underwrite significantly better risk.

How do you envision the future in the next few months regarding all the potential disruptions and transformations happening in space?

The carriers with the best digital capabilities, data platforms, and decision-making abilities will be able to move more intelligently and efficiently through the space. Companies need to act smartly and quickly to enable best digital tools to serve the traditional customer and be nimble enough to meet the new customers as the market paradigm evolves.

Would you like to give a piece of advice to the upcoming professionals and colleagues to be successful in this industry?

Insurance, as an industry, is hundreds of years old. It has weathered every storm and has come out to be a strong supporter of our world. It enables people to take risks and start new businesses, it puts food on the table of the injured worker and gets them back to health, and restores communities ravaged by catastrophe. 

I would suggest to my peers and younger professionals in the industry to embrace risk-taking, failing fast, and being the future of insurance. We need forward-looking talent that understand the work patterns of yesteryear must evolve to meet the customer. We must discover unique and interesting ways to achieve better outcomes. We need to think out of the box and constantly remain hungry for improvement. We must never be satisfied with what’s in front of us in order to find better ways to succeed. 

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