Humana CIO Brian LeClaire: Meeting consumer expectations requires the right IT team

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Humana CIO Brian LeClaire says he looks for IT professionals with a "consumer-oriented skill set."

When Humana CIO Brian LeClaire builds his IT team, he’s not just looking for tech gurus who can build consumer-facing platforms; he wants people who can understand the needs of consumers.

That means building an IT team that can quickly respond to the needs of the customer, a task that is critical to building innovative technology that actively engages with consumers, LeClaire wrote in a post on The Enterprisers Project. When he’s hiring, he says he looks for three skill sets: human-centered design, agile techniques and analytics-based information building.

“It’s a given that anyone working in IT today should understand the business through keen analytic skills and natural curiosity,” he wrote. “But the strongest technologists offer much more than that. They have a combination of experience that creates a customer-oriented skill set."

LeClaire emphasized the need to “make it easy” for consumers who are interacting with a site or platform. To do that, the IT team needs to be acutely aware of the consumer experience and be able to “create test-and-learn environments quickly” while also incorporating analytics to narrow in on their interactions with the site.

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Humana CEO Bruce Broussard has also said the insurer is using data analytics to improve engagement among 15 categories of patients. At the Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit last week, Humana's vice president of innovation and head of Humana Health Ventures, Busy Burr, noted that the insurer is seeking out partners and investing in technology that improves the consumer experience.

LeClaire has previously emphasized the importance of creating consumer-facing technology that can provide Humana beneficiaries access to their health information. Recently, Humana has restructured its digital marketing strategy to improve the way beneficiaries interact with their health plan and began incorporating artificial intelligence to respond to poor consumer experiences in real time.