Every third Tuesday in September, members of the national business community rally around IT professionals. National IT Professionals Day was created in 2015 to recognize the tech gurus who keep all of us connected. That sentiment is more relevant than ever since the American enterprise went remote last year. That’s why, along with a handful of other organizations, MicroAge recognizes IT Professionals Week because one day just isn’t enough.
This week we celebrate and honor all of the members of the IT community who have found creative solutions to keep the American workforce connected in the face of unprecedented disruption and momentous change in our daily lives.
For this blog, we’re proud to highlight and recognize technology leader, Justin Taylor. Justin has more than two decades of IT experience and is the Director Of Information Technology & Information Security Officer at Platinum Supplemental Insurance. He shares about what motivates him every day, the greatest challenges he faces as an IT leader, and how he’s tackling his latest IT obstacles.
1. Tell us about your background in IT:
I have been in Information Technology for a little over 20 years now. Growing up my dad was (and still is) in the IT field. He would bring computers home and I got to play around with them and start to learn how they work. Early on, I did help desk work at my high school.
While attending college, I was able to get a 3rd shift job in a computer room for a large corporation. We monitored a lot of different systems for various hospitals and performed their backups. This is back when everything was still on tapes and even reel tapes. After a couple of years there I was able to move on with another company in a Help Desk role that morphed into more of a Network Admin role as well. I was there for 10 years before coming to the company I am with now.
2. What is your current role?
I currently work at Platinum Supplemental Insurance out of Dubuque, Iowa where I am the Director of IT. Platinum offers supplemental insurance across the country. Plans encompass a broad variety of coverage including accident protection, cancer, heart attack, stroke, hospital indemnity, and Medicare supplement insurance. We help patients fill in the gaps with their existing health insurance coverage to protect them, their families, and their way of life.
3. What are the most challenging parts of your daily role as an IT director?
The most challenging part is the speed at which our company moves. Platinum Supplemental Insurance is a nimble, fast-moving company with a great staff and a leadership team that is always pushing us to be our best. In order to stay ahead of the competition, we have quick turnarounds on new products and changes to current ones.
4. What’s the most rewarding part of your role as an IT leader?
From an IT standpoint, the most rewarding parts are when we all come together and meet the deadlines to get our products out to our agents and customers. From a company standpoint, I most appreciate hearing testimonials from our customers about how our policies have changed their lives for the better. I have read some of these incredibly heartwarming stories. It’s hard to not feel good about being a part of that team and corporate mission.
5. How did you learn about MicroAge?
We partnered with MicroAge in late 2019. Previously, we were with two other companies back to back. What brought us here is our Rep, Paul O’Connor. Paul and I got to know each other when I first became the IT Manager here at Platinum. He’s been working with me ever since, and as I have grown with the company stepped into the Director of IT role.
As Paul has advanced in his career and made jumps to bigger companies we have followed him, that’s how we started at MicroAge. He knows our business inside and out and no matter what comes up I know I can throw it Paul’s way and either he will handle it or find the correct people who can.
6. How have you worked with MicroAge to conquer your IT challenges?
Being with MicroAge now we have access to services we didn’t when we were partnered with a smaller vendor. When I need to order things Paul is right on top of it. If I have questions about technologies we aren’t using or I am not that familiar with, Paul brings in subject matter experts. He makes sure we are getting the best value possible from all of the companies we are working with and has helped out in situations after a few Microsoft audits. We have always come out good on those, but Paul has made them much easier to handle.
7. How does having experienced outside IT experts support you and your team?
It is like having a safety net. We know we are getting fair prices, we have backup during software audits, we have unlimited assets when it comes to knowledge, and the services that are provided help free up some of my time to address the things I need to tackle here at work.
Justin Taylor is an IT leader with more than two decades of experience. He’s a Certified Security Compliance Specialist (CSCS), a Certified HIPPA Professional (CHP), and has achieved an Information Technology Management and Leadership Executive (ITMLE) certification. He is the Director of IT at Platinum Supplemental Insurance and has a background working in IT for other healthcare organizations including McKesson.
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