Blue Cross Chief Information Officer William Fandrich Shares His IT Outlook
At its heart, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) will always be focused on keeping its members healthy—a goal that’s helped tremendously by advancements in information technology. In fact, Blue Cross is now Michigan’s largest IT employer. And as of earlier this year, the IT team at Blue Cross has a new leader: Chief Information Officer William Fandrich, who is incredibly excited to be back in Detroit after starting his career here 30 years ago.
“Detroit has evolved dramatically, both in community investment and companies that are settling here,” Fandrich says. “As a byproduct, we’re seeing a significant influx in investment from major technology companies that are making Detroit a focus area.” This is leading to an increase in interest in IT careers and industry job growth.
“Technology is becoming more and more important to companies in achieving their strategic goals,” he says. “It’s shaping the way we work and operate, and we’re starting to leverage technology differently to achieve our mission of improving the health of Michigan’s residents.”
Seeking Out Talent
The emphasis on technology has increased the demand for IT professionals who can help execute Blue Cross’ mission. “As a company, we take great pride in the number of jobs we continue to invest in,” Fandrich says. He expects Blue Cross’ IT positions to grow as technology continues to advance. “Our ongoing plan is to modernize our infrastructure, which will support our business strategy,” he says. “Transformation in technology and innovation occurs much more rapidly in this industry, so it’s our job is to tap into talent that will bring new skills into our organization.”
As an employer, Blue Cross finds value in hiring candidates with a variety of professional backgrounds and giving them the opportunity to expand their skillsets. “We want to be able to provide people with the opportunity for job growth, professional development and the ability to do exciting and innovative things,” says Fandrich. “The role of a technology professional in the health care industry is that of a ‘transformationalist’ – they are redefining how we work so we can continue having an impact in the community and Michigan as a whole.”
A Place for Everyone
Fandrich isn’t just out to bring together the best talent in Michigan, he’s also dedicated to breaking down commonly-held misconceptions about the IT industry. And he’s starting with the idea that the profession is only for those who have a technological background. “Oftentimes, people think that the role of a tech professional only centers around technology, and this is not totally the case,” Fandrich says.
While a strong understanding of technology is necessary, so are other skills, like problem solving. “One of the most important values you can bring to the table is being able to apply technology to solve business problems, shaping what’s possible for the business to achieve, and guiding and consulting in areas that affect technology,” he says.
Another key strength of IT professionals: The ability to learn new skills and keep up with the continual advancements in technology and health care. “Every two to three years, there will be a new generation of technology,” he says. “What’s most important is that we apply and leverage what we know about tech, our business, customers and the market to continue to drive value.”
The future of IT at Blue Cross is ensuring the company grows in step with the ever-changing world, while remaining true to its mission of serving Michigan residents. “Our number one job is to maximize our technological investments to protect member’s information and impact our company’s mission,” Fandrich says.
To learn more about a career in Blue Cross IT, visit these blogs: