Streamlined IT and outsourcing played a central role in the modernisation of Aviva, the insurance firm said in its results yesterday.
The company's business simplification drive started two years ago and has technology at its heart. It involved a £700m datacentre services deal with HP Business Services (then EDS) last year that has helped the company refocus on business-critical areas and reduce IT spending.
According to Aviva, the programme also aims to meet customers' changing service demands in areas such as self-service.
As well as improved capacity and productivity, the technology rationalisation and better use of outsourcing helped the company generate "substantial and sustainable" cost-savings.
Aviva's cost-savings target of £500m was met a year ahead of plan. Overall, the company has 10,700 fewer employees than at this time two years ago, a reduction of 19 per cent.
"We have managed this transition as sensitively as possible, making full use of natural turnover and redeployment opportunities," the company said in a statement.
Aviva's pre-tax profit for the year ending 31 December 2009 was £1.81bn, compared with a £1.3bn loss in 2008, while operating profit decreased from £2.3bn to £2.02bn. This exceeded analyst expectations.
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