CIO Profile: Deepika Srivastava

Deepika Srivastava is SVP, chief information officer, and chief information security officer at The Doctors Company Group, the nation’s largest physician-owned provider of insurance, risk management, and healthcare practice improvement solutions. She is responsible for TDC’s enterprise-wide information technology and leads the company’s digital strategy and execution. Prior to her TDC Group CIO role, Deepika held several senior strategic and operational leadership positions at TDC. She spoke to Aite-Novarica Group in August 2021. 

What are your top priorities for the next six to 12 months? 

We have three major goals. First, core modernization—continuing to build and modernize our IT state and invest in cultural and technological innovations. We have completed several major projects in 2021, including migrating policy, claims, and billing systems, and we’re focused on enhancing digital experiences for all our stakeholders, both internal and external. 

Innovation is another goal, continuing our adoption of an innovation-led mindset. We have a unique combination of talent, assets, and culture, which give us the ability to focus on innovative outcomes beyond classical economic impacts. We truly believe that the insurance industry will operate differently 10 years from now. It’s not the first time the industry has seen major change, but the current conditions—the scale of data volume and processing, for example—mean that a lot is changing very rapidly. 

Finally, talent is a top priority. None of the work that we want to do can happen without solid talent, so it’s a priority to attract and maintain good people. 

What has been the biggest impact of the pandemic environment on your way of working? 

Our employees have demonstrated tremendous resilience and adaptiveness to changing conditions. Another piece of it is that we have access to technology solutions that are flexible, secure, and reliable. We’ve been able to expand access to tech across functions, implement value changes, and do some employee reskilling. We’re committed to making healthcare simpler and easier; it’s the core of who we are, and we serve the entire spectrum of the healthcare industry from small clinics to large hospitals to vaccine researchers and medical research companies, and more.   

How has the relationship between IT and other business units evolved over the past year as you’ve made your Agile investments and people are working primarily remotely? 

We already had a virtual work culture due to our national footprint, so we historically have had a high degree of collaboration. We have transitioned to an Agile model, which is focused on delivering technology capabilities early and often. The pandemic made us stronger, in that sense. The Agile model was very important for organizational resilience. It helped us to be nimble, communicate, and address changes. Future challenges like the delta variant will be driven by uncertainty, so that organizational resilience will be critical. 

What do you see as some of the biggest challenges ahead when you think about the role of technology and some of the opportunities to use technology to improve the business? 

Cybersecurity is the biggest challenge. When work-from-home accelerated in response to the pandemic, it opened up new attack vectors for many companies. We’re seeing very sophisticated attacks at increased volume, which are especially targeting insurance and financial services companies. As an industry, we will need to continue to address these attacks effectively and adapt as new threats emerge. 

Time-to-market is another challenge. We’re kind of in “Amazon Delivery Mode”—people’s expectations have been shaped by getting products immediately. Setting expectations and taking on the right technology projects has been a major factor for us in maintaining delivery cadence. 

Finally, partnerships with solution providers, vendors, and think tanks—if you have the right relationships, you can take on any challenge. 

It’s also important to concentrate not just on implementing technology but on strategic next steps like scaling, cultural challenges, reskilling, and upskilling. People, processes, and tech form a trifecta that makes it work. 

Which emerging technologies are you most interested in and thinking about? 

First and foremost is cloud and continuing to scale our investments there. Maturing our RPA practice, artificial intelligence as well, and extended reality. 

There are also infrastructure technologies, which, while they’re not truly “new,” are areas we’re continuing to explore: serverless computing, microservices architectures. I’m especially interested in event-driven architectures for us. 

Finally, data—everything is data, data, data. We’re looking at data lakes and repositories, as well as technologies for streaming and real-time data. 

How have you and your team leveraged the Aite-Novarica relationship? 

We think of Aite-Novarica as an insurance think tank. It’s a relationship we value. We use Aite-Novarica to validate our assumptions, and we have involved them as advisors when shaping our technology strategy. It’s a relationship that has continued to evolve and deepen. 

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