Insurer improves IT after taking it back in-house

Financial services organisation Liverpool Victoria (LV) has revealed details of a project to improve and centralise IT management after acquisition and business reorganisation.

The insurance and investment group with more than 2.5 million customers and members and 8 billion in assets, has completed the first phase of a major project designed to support the business' growth objectives.

The company's growth plans through acquisition, including ABC Insurance in December 2006 and the Britannia Rescue Business and the former GE Life business in 2007, led the LV Group to bring IT management back in-house last year across an expanded 16 sites.

Mitch Lambton, IT director at LV Group, said taking back ownership of the service enabled it to become more agile in supporting the business' growth plans and ensure IT as a high quality service to the business.

The function also wanted to increase efficiency and drive down cost by installing standardised, repeatable IT processes across the business and introduce better reporting and governance practices using the industry standard IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework.

The first phase of the project put in place ITIL-based foundations for IT service management (ITSM) and embedded identity and access management facilities across the Group.

LV has taken on software from CA to provide software delivery, service desk, asset management, automated password reset and remote trouble shooting capabilities. It has also upgraded the IT infrastructure, completing major network upgrades across its large and wide area network (LAN and WAN) infrastructure.

Lambton told IT PRO a review of the first phase was currently underway. But he added: "Discernible benefits have already emerged around self-service options, emailed service desk ticket numbers and quicker and more efficient call logging."

Phase two began in May 2008 to extend the capability of the insurer's configuration management database (CMDB). It will also cover the full rollout of user-based provisioning across all of LV's sites and bring its IT services onto a service catalogue. The IT organisation intends to complete phase two by the end of 2008, when the project's third phase will begin to look at governance of IT management processes across the Group.

Lambton said phase three would help LV move toward ISO accreditation. "IT is central to all businesses and particularly for our expanding business at LV. This is particularly so when one is supporting customer facing online and call centre operations."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.