How Western & Southern Adapted and Transformed to Meet Customer Expectations

Jim Fitzgerald talks about old and new technology and Western and Southern’s distribution models—both direct-to-consumer and traditional agent-based distribution—and what that means for technology at the company.

In this episode, we speak about new and old technologies with Jim Fitzgerald, CIO, Western and Southern Financial Group (Cincinnati). Jim talks about Western and Southern’s distribution models—both direct-to-consumer and traditional agent-based distribution—related to its various subsidiaries, and what that means for technology. He shares the company’s main digitization efforts, and how it is approaching digitizing the customer experience in response to changing expectations.

I mentioned to Jim in our conversation that I could summarize his thoughts on mainframe modernization as “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It was interesting to hear his thoughts on this tried-and-true technology’s continuing role in a changing environment. It’s strange, as Jim suggested, that the more likely argument against mainframe technology is increasingly the difficulty in finding professionals with the requisite skills. Jim also stressed the difficulty of attracting and retaining talent not just for, say, COBOL, but also for modern technology.

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