Lloyds of London CIO Peter Hambling has told his peers that an organisational change process for his department has allowed the IT team to become involved in exciting projects and improved the department’s budget. Hambling has been at Lloyds for a year now, having moved to the famous underwriters from global bankers HSBC.
“IT was working properly,” he said of his arrival at the famous Richard Rogers designed building, “but the alignment had changed and we were doing different things from the business. IT was fragmented, there were small groups doing things in silos, this doubled or trippled the cost base,” Hambling said. He set up a business engagement team whose role is to “site and listen to what the business wants,” and a security and information security division. “My goal is drive up value and understanding. We are seeing huge increases in demand for CPU, networking and email storage. This means we are driving up value,” he said at the Forrester IT Forum EMEA. “This also means I can go and ask for more money.”
With a more focussed Lloyds IT team, they have been able to get involved in technically challenging, but also “fun” projects that have gained Hambling board level recognition. In his presentation Hambling demonstrated how complex insurance risk data is being combined in a web mash up with geographical data and the Google Maps and Earth applications to create visual displays of insurance risk. Hambling said much of the risk data is complex and difficult to see, the real challenge was to present it in a way that did not distort what the data meant and present large amounts of numbers in a small space. The result was to overlayed data that demonstrated cityscapes with an earthquake risk area in red, or coloured overlays on maps of central America that could be hit by hurricanes.
Hambling said this type of information creation and management was becoming increasingly important to Lloyds and the insurance industry as incidents caused by climate change increase. “We insure against what climate change is causing.
With a hightened awareness of climate change within Lloyds the British company has set up its own board level environmental body, which includes Hambling. This group has metrics for monitoring the carbon footprint of the company.
Hambling describes Lloyds as “one of the least understood brands,” it insures high risk objects ranging from aircraft and oil wells to Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards’ fingers. It is responsible for insuring 93 per cent of Dow Jones Industrial Average companies.