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TIAA-CREF: What Digital Innovation Really Looks Like

Joseph Sieczkowski, CTO of TIAA-CREF, says the model for how digital innovation can change a business is well documented, and financial firms can embrace it.

What does Joseph Sieczkowski, senior managing director and CTO of TIAA-CREF, say when people ask him to describe digital innovation? "It's like what Netflix did to Blockbuster," he said at the InformationWeek Financial Services/Dell Think Tank roundtable event today in New York.

Three key factors on which Netflix innovated helped it surpass the entrenched model for renting videos, Sieczkowski said: customer experience, operational excellence, and changing the business model. "All of a sudden, you don't have to drive to the store. And it's not like you got to the store and there was someone in the back room who knew what you wanted to watch. And you can acquire content differently without worrying about cost associated with physical space. You can put your customers first."

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Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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