José C. Arriaga Murcia – Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions IT Committee
It’s not just what José C. Arriaga has learned along the way in a 30-year career that counts, it’s also about how he shares that knowledge and skill set in the insurance industry in Mexico.
Not only adept at leading initiatives and projects implementing IT architecture and stacks to improve efficiency and profitability, Arriaga is also an actuary with an MBA in insurance and finance and has experience in areas such as underwriting, issuance, claims, risk, project management and customer service.
As the president of the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions IT Committee, Arriaga enjoys bringing a wider perspective to improve customer service and create new opportunities.
“In my positions, I have focused on security, optimizing operations and executing digital technological transformation with different processes,” he says. “Developing and transforming means implementing best practices. This isn’t something that will take one or two years. It’s a continuous project.”
Where it starts
While emphasizing the need to look, think and act globally, Arriaga says companies that make the most of omnichannel approaches to products and services will find themselves succeeding. The buy-in must be total, too.
“Organic growth is not easy,” he says. “In a digital transformation project, the entire company must participate—all employees of all levels—and there must also be a change management culture process.”
User experience and digital experience become highly relevant when defining the transformation strategy, he adds. A tech platform built to support all the initiatives of different areas and processes must link them holistically in a simple, user-friendly way.
Creating venues and portals to do business digitally was a way to reach new customers and markets and expand business before COVID-19 arrived. Arriaga says the pandemic is also opening new communication channels among CIOs across many industries while reinforcing the need for digital products and services.
In the insurance, manufacturing, banking and health care sectors, he says Liferay DXP is a particularly effective platform. It’s scalable, can connect to core systems on-premises or in the cloud and allows users to manage their activities while improving productivity and service levels.
Best of all, Liferay’s updates avoid technological obsolescence while those using it are less dependent on IT teams to get their work done, he adds.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Arriaga earned his degree as an actuary from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1992 and embarked on a career that’s seen him work for some one of the world’s biggest insurers in Mexico, as well as in his own company.
After graduating, he joined Seguros Monterrey (now known as Seguros Monterrey New York Life). In more than 14 years there, he took part in defining and implementing a comprehensive policy administration system and centralizing operations from 42 offices to a single center, significantly reducing costs.
Arriaga also led the effort to get New York Life’s Mexican operations ISO 9001 certification, a complex process that documents how the company has instituted and followed criteria for a quality management system.
In October 2007, he founded Carim Automotriz, which links insurers and auto repair facilities while setting standards for what collision centers should offer for repairs paid for through claims.
Arriaga returned to the insurance sector in 2012 and has since earned his MBA from UTEL University while taking international leadership training and business analyst master courses.
With his wealth of experience and actuarial skills, Arriaga also serves as president of the IT committee of the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions, and he’s always ready to share his trove of industry knowledge by collaborating in groups including CIO Club, CIONET and The C-Class.
Outside work, Arriaga’s also committed to his community, working with the Unity organization and other CIOs to bring technology, including computers, cell phones and internet, to children in underserved and low-income areas. This includes occasionally adapting facilities for instruction and interactions, he adds.
Whether in the office or not, Arriaga encourages taking the long view of how to make the best use of technology.
“I advise people to think about the return,” he says. “I advise them to take care of the processes and policies, to update them for a physical and remote operation, to identify risks that affect the operation.”
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