Forum on World Class IT - 185 Interviews and Podcasts

Welcome to the Forum on World Class IT podcast series, a collection of exclusive interviews with Chief Information Officers and other IT industry thought leaders. Learn from the experts on how best to establish a truly World Class IT organization.

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November 19, 2012: Ben Allen, Chief Information Officer and Chief Innovation Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies

Among other topics, Ben discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy:
  • The advantages of having both the Chief Information Officer and Chief Innovation Officer roles, and how these roles fit together given how technology can help drive innovation
  • How Marsh & McLennan’s various Operating Companies have increased focus in doing more things commonly, and how this starts with an objective review of what should be standardized and what should be differentiated at the Operating Company level
  • How Ben’s team acts as the glue for the largely independent Operating Companies, and facilitates interactions between them
  • How the structure of the innovation function varies based on the type of business, the dynamics of the industry, and the velocity of change
  • Ben’s background as a business executive and the advantages of taking on the CIO role given this background
  • Eye on Trends: Mobility and the ubiquity of low-cost devices, and how this will influence massive increases in flexibility, productivity, efficiency, and innovation

Ben Allen’s Biography

Ben is the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Innovation Officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global professional services firm providing advice and solutions in risk, strategy and human capital.

Prior to his current role, Ben was President and Chief Executive Officer of Kroll, Inc., an operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies, until it was sold by Marsh & McLennan Companies in August 2010 to Altegrity, Inc. Prior to his appointment as CEO of Kroll, Inc., Ben was COO of Kroll, and prior to that President of Kroll Ontrack, Kroll’s legal technologies and data recovery subsidiary. Additionally, Ben headed Kroll’s Technology Services Group.  Prior to Kroll’s acquisition of Ontrack, he served as president and CEO of ONTRACK Data International, Inc.

Preceding his appointment as president and CEO, Mr. Allen served in several other international roles for the company, including Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of theU.K.andFranceoffices.

Ben has a BA degree in Finance from Washington State University.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview