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Think reinsurance is all about the underwriters? Think again.
Kian Butterfield explains why his team is critical to the success of Hiscox Re & ILS and how the industry is providing great opportunities for IT gurus.
How would you explain your job to a family member or friend?
When describing my job, I usually revert to the classic joke, “I turn computers off and back on”. In reality, IT involves a lot of problem-solving and outside-of-the-box thinking. At first glance, a problem may appear simple, but when you dig deeper you often find that what really caused the issue is something completely different. Some days I deal with broken hardware related problems and other days problems may be much more complicated. The diversity of IT is part of what I love about my role.
Why is your department critical to the success of the business?
We play a vital role in the success of Hiscox Re & ILS because all of the technology used – whether it be computers, iPads, iPhones, video conferencing or telephony – it has to be maintained and kept up-to-date. It is up to our department to make sure that this is completed successfully, with as little downtime and business interruption as possible.
What are the biggest challenges in your job?
Funnily enough, some of the biggest challenges I face in my role are not technology related but more people-focused. As individuals, we all have a tendency to believe our needs take priority over others, so it’s our job in IT to help manage these expectations and ensure matters get rectified in a timely manner. I enjoy working with a broad range of people and teams in Hiscox; it’s interesting to see how different individuals operate and understand what they feel could make their jobs easier from a technology perspective.
Do you think Hiscox or the reinsurance industry offers good opportunities and career development?
Yes! I think Hiscox provides a vast amount of opportunities for its employees to grow through formal training and on-the-job experience. During my time at Hiscox, I have seen people progress within their individual departments, as well as move into completely different business areas. The support for internal movement is definitely something that not all organisations provide and I am fortunate to work for a business that invests in its employees’ growth and career aspirations.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?
I actually have two pieces of advice! The first is “Have a path but be flexible.” I think it’s good to have a general career journey planned, but you should also allow yourself to change this path slightly if a new opportunity presents itself to ensure growth. The second piece of advice is “Improve, but don’t be perfect”. Sometimes being a perfectionist can hold you back from progress and prevent you from achieving your goals. It’s important to remember the bigger picture.
What piece of advice would you give to a new employee at Hiscox?
The best piece of advice I could give is to work hard and commit to your role within the organisation. Everyone plays a vital role in the success of the business, so it is up to you to ensure that you perform yours to the best of your ability.
If you had chosen a different career path, what would it have been?
To be honest, I cannot imagine myself in any other career or profession than IT; I simply think it fits my personality and lifestyle. However, if there were no limitations, I’d follow my passion and pursue a career in cricket. Although, I’m not quite sure how far I would progress based on my skill level (I’m no Brian Lara). Let’s just say, I think IT was the most realistic choice.