Would you believe it if we told you that a single IT department went on to create an entire tech company?
Well that’s exactly what happened at Liberty Mutual Insurance. After recognizing a need in the company, their IT team developed an entire internal workforce platform called myHub.
Originally, the Liberty Mutual IT department created myHub to make it easier for employees to complete administrative work.
As time went on, however, the platform grew more popular on a company-wide level. The executives at Liberty Mutual took notice, and they decided to sell myHub to other organizations under the name Workgrid.
How it Started
MyHub began with ideation and problem solving. The company had been working for months to generate new ideas amidst recent software developments and cloud migrations.
“We were prototyping new ideas and trying to get people in the business to take risks,” said James McGlennon, executive vice president and CIO of Liberty Mutual (cio.com).
Through these brainstorming sessions, company executives noticed an overall lack of efficiency when it came to administrative tasks like reviewing time-off eligibility and approving expense reports. Workers had to move between various applications in order to complete these tasks, and it was wasting the company valuable time and money.
After recognizing the problem, executives began working with the IT department to create a solution. MyHub became a central location for managing administrative tasks and improving productivity.
Why it Worked
Company leaders credit their success to a variety of factors. But they all maintain that one of the key players was their IT department.
Brett Caldon, a long-time Liberty mutual employee, credited IT’s connection and collaboration with other areas of the organization. By working closely with executives and other team leads, IT members were able to identify areas where technology could improve the company.
The executive team also played a huge role in viewing the IT department as a vision center and not a cost center. “I can’t discount that this started with leadership and their vision on where tech was going,” Caldon said.
In addition to leadership and collaboration, Liberty Mutual places a high value on innovation and digital transformation. Developing more agile business practices, like moving to the cloud, made it easier for the IT department to create this solution for tech-related problems.
Where Are They Now?
In 2017, Workgrid Software, LLC became a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Insurance.
In June of 2018, the Workgride intelligent workplace platform hit the market. Brett Caldon, the tech mentioned earlier in this article, is now the co-founder and CEO of Workgrid Software.
Looking at Your Own IT Department
Not every IT department will go on to build a tech company.
But every organization can grow and generate new ideas but recognizing the value of its IT department.
James McGlennon attributed Liberty Mutual’s success to their long-term vision. He said, “we saw that the productivity benefits we could achieve were going to give us pretty good returns.”
What success will your IT department help you achieve? If you give them the chance, what new ideas will they bring to you?
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