The end of a busy year for BUPA has been marked by the arrival of a new CIO. Yasmine Jetha arrived from The Financial Times in October, replacing group OS director John Lister, who moves to the CIO role at Specsavers after six years at the health insurance group.

Jetha, who was COO at the FT, has been charged by CEO Ray King to "identify opportunities for technology to enable growth and support our business priorities", and key among her projects will be building on Lister's BUPA One standardisation project. With more than 50 percent of BUPA's business now coming from outside the UK, having an international network linking its concerns in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK, and being able to share and reuse data and applications across the group will make the IT setup much more efficient.

This work has been boosted by an extension of the company's service management deal with Patni Computer Systems. The three-year agreement sees the Indian outsourcer work with BUPA's web systems and business intelligence applications to improve levels of IT service and aid simplification and reuse of this software across the global organisation. BUPA hopes the deal will save it £1m over three years.

In the year to October 2009, BUPA has also dedicated itself towards improved customer service via an overhaul of its website. The new site will be given a more contemporary feel and will feature more automated tasks such as speeding up customer quotes and easing the flow from quote to transaction.

Such smooth service will be simplified by the recent migration of customer data onto a new system that provides a single record for each customer and which reduces the number of customer records by two-thirds.

The migration, which director of business change Steve Felton described as "risky", was completed over a single weekend by vendor Kognito in August 2009, and will enable BUPA to introduce its One Plan initiative which is aimed at bringing new products to market quickly and tailoring offers and reductions for its 12 million members more accurately.