Joel Raedeke, Senior Vice President of Analytics and Technology, entered the industry in 2001 and joined Broadspire as a manager in 2004. He quickly immersed himself in the technology which makes the claims sector tick. Choosing to report up through the Chief Client Officer rather than the head of IT has been a formative aspect of Raedeke’s career. This has shaped his conviction that technology has to be focused on the clients’ objectives, rather than being siloed within the organization. After a five-year period (2007-2012) as VP for Strategic Outcomes with ESIS, Raedeke returned to Broadspire as SVP of Analytics before rising to his current position in early 2019.
Raedeke’s client-focused background is foundational to his approach for shaping technology’s evolution. He captures the essence of his strategy in three principles: 1) All engineering is grounded in client objectives; 2) A primary goal of the executive should be to create an environment that empowers line-level employees to identify and solve problems in order to achieve high-level client objectives; and 3) In order to effectively integrate technology, such as AI or straight-through processing, in domains such as claims handling, it is critical to first model the claim process with its macro and micro workflows, as well the myriad decision nodes that occur throughout the workflows.
Critical to the engineering of technology centred around the needs of the client, Raedeke states, is providing a unified ecosystem for each client. “A company like Crawford has a wealth of capabilities around the globe, so establishing a unified experience for our clients is critical. Our client’s objectives can be expressed in a number of ways: Take care of my people, Reduce my total cost of risk, Execute the process my way, and so on. Our ecosystem gives our clients a unified way to experience the evolution of our technology to achieve continual success in meeting their objectives,” he says.
Equally important to him is fostering the right workplace culture: “There’s been a shift in how we do things,” Raedeke explains. While the engineering teams were previously project-based, most engineering is now squad-based and far more versatile. “Each of those squads is made up of developers, user experience designers, subject matter experts and business analysts. I communicate to them what our strategic objectives are,” he continues, “but then I allow them to select opportunities within that and then align the KPIs they’ve selected with client objectives.” This front-line ownership allows for the discovery and evolution of features that are immediately relevant to the client and end-user.
It is creating this valuable, self-determining and innovation-driven atmosphere that Raedeke says, which forms his core focus. “If you can create an atmosphere where innovation is occurring naturally, my main job then is to cultivate a healthy, well-resourced environment where it can flourish. This is how technology can contribute to client success.”
The fundamental question is always how much control am I willing to lose versus how much risk I want to reduce when moving to the cloud, and then making a choice based on the business value