IT Director, José Queirós, talks about how an early interest in computers led him to a career in software development, as well as how technology can allow the CPRI market to actively enhance its capabilities
José, can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to pursue a career in IT?
I have always been drawn to computers, even when I was very young, so it made sense for me to pursue my interests as a career. I have fond memories of the first computer my father bought our family, which was primarily used by my mother to assist in her master’s degree. It had 40Mb of memory – infinitely less powerful than the capabilities of our modern computers. Nevertheless, I would play games and type on the keyboard for hours at a time.
When it came time to university, there was no question that my chosen degree would be related to computers and technology. Studying at the faculty of Science and Technology in Lisbon (FCT) helped me finetune my interests in IT, specifically guiding me towards the field of software development.
After working as a software developer for several years, where my speciality became utilising the omnichannel enterprise solutions platform OutSystems, I knew I wanted more of a challenge that involved high-level business strategy.
What drew you to Credit and Political Risk Insurance (CPRI)?
The CPRI market is uniquely linked to geopolitical events, and that makes what we do each day feel even more relevant and meaningful. I was drawn to this sector because I saw a lot of potential when it comes to technological innovation and I knew I could help.
What drew me to BPL Global specifically, were the opportunities to learn and advance my knowledge. Thanks to its specialism and expertise in this niche corner of the insurance market, I have been able to learn more about the global financial markets from a unique perspective. This is, in part, thanks to my colleagues as they are always happy to talk about new concepts and exchange ideas.
Can you give a brief outline of your current role and remit?
As the Director of IT, I am responsible for helping the business make key strategic decisions regarding its position on various matters relating to technology. This involves assisting the business move from legacy software solutions to newer innovative products. This includes BPL Sphere – a portfolio management tool – and the broker-underwriter communication API developed in tandem with Euler Hermes and Whitespace, giving BPL Global a cutting-edge business advantage in providing a market-leading client service.
I also lead a great team of IT professionals, and their creativity and ingenuity make maintaining and evolving BPL Global’s technological capabilities truly fulfilling.
What is your core focus currently? What takes up most of your time?
Software development projects, as my main area of expertise, is what takes up most of my time. While always prioritising the evolution of our level of service to clients, I use my software development skillset to shape how BPL Global will utilise the next generation of computing systems.
I also help particularly technologically advanced clients whenever they want to explore new ways to integrate BPL Global’s digital product suite or seek out technical efficiencies.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
It is really satisfying to be the catalyst for change between people and their relationship with technology. Seeing colleagues and clients’ work processes revolutionised by new technical products and solutions is the best part of the job. I am able to create a more mature business that can perform its functions more efficiently and in innovative ways.
I also really value the IT team we have collectively built to support the aspirations of the business and migrate away from BPL Global’s legacy applications. The team remains incredibly dynamic and nimble, withstanding all the turbulent changes in recent years like Brexit, the pandemic and the impact global political events have had on our area of insurance business.
What does the future of CPRI look like from a technology perspective?
As the wider insurance sector goes through an intense phase of modernisation, CPRI brokers need to keep up with these technical advances. As a relatively young, agile and niche section of insurance, the CPRI market must actively evolve and enhance its capabilities.
We should be careful not to slip into the rear-view mirror and, instead, become bolder in the use of technology. There is plenty of opportunity to adopt new and disruptive technologies, and improve efficiency and productivity.