Dan Greteman is the Chief Information Officer for Farm Bureau Financial Services, and has worked in the technology field for more than 28 years. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University, Dan began his career in the Communications and High Tech division at Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. During this time he gained diverse experience in large-scale IT delivery, sales, relationship management, telecommunications, IT operations and program management disciplines, and was named partner in 2000.
After Accenture, Dan joined Nationwide’s Allied Group where he ultimately served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Dan led several key distribution channels and product lines for Nationwide, including customer service, billing, commercial, farm, specialty, and excess and surplus. Dan was responsible for delivering a multi-year, post-merger integration program to improve alignment between Nationwide and Allied commercial lines products, processes and technology platforms, reducing expense and facilitating geographical expansion.
In addition to his duties at Farm Bureau Financial Services, Dan has served on both the Foundation and Operating Boards for Orchard Place, and has played leadership roles in support of United Way, the Des Moines Technology Sector and the American Heart Association. In 2011, Insurance & Technology Magazine recognized Dan as an “Elite 8” executive, an honor given to eight outstanding senior insurance carrier executives each year for leadership in successful use of technology to support business goals and objectives. Dan has also worked with DMACC, Iowa State University and the Technology Association of Iowa to develop programs specifically focused on generating more technologists. Dan currently serves as an Executive Board Member and Secretary of the Technology Association of Iowa and is a Board Member for Living History Farms.
Farm Bureau Financial Services and its affiliated insurance companies have an extensive history of partnering with organizations to foster a passion for technology. For example:
- Our HyperStream partnership with IBM and a local middle school was recognized at the 2014 Prometheus Awards hosted by the Technology Association of Iowa (TAI).
- We provide an on-site classroom for a local high school’s Advanced Professional Experience program. Fifteen juniors/seniors are participating in the financial services strand this year.
- FBFS helps sponsor a special Tech Camp where FBFS employees volunteer and provide hands-on experiences for young at-risk learners.
- FBFS employees serve on advisory boards and assist with curriculum design to ensure that real business needs continue to be addressed at the collegiate level.
We are proud to collaborate with partners from education, business and the community, providing students with a unique, immersive experience that results in highly skilled global innovators and leaders.
There are few to no aspects of our world today where technology does not play a part. Most businesses rely heavily on technology. In most cases, they cannot operate without technology. This dynamic coupled with the impact of Moore’s Law (the observation that transistor density doubles every 24 months and with it computing power) creates the potential of technology having exponential impact on our world, and this is exactly why STEM education, coupled with workforce development, is a critical component of our nation’s future.
Greater computing power and the universal access to the Internet are helping technology and our world evolve faster than ever. The speed of enablement and broad-reaching nature of technology requires a response. We need a workforce that is both large and able to keep up with the evolving world. We need to continue to evolve our existing workforce and we need to get more people interested in technology as a career. STEM education is the vehicle through which we will respond.
STEM education is key to enabling greater creation and application of technology. Creating more technologists and having them focus on enabling and applying technology in new and exciting ways will help drive our economy. We need more people who are passionate and involved, more who see the potential and can combine existing technologies to enable new models. The coming decades will bring huge automation and improved quality of life. The United States needs to drive this change.
The Internet and Internet of Things are creating an environment where almost anything can be tracked and monitored; thus, the importance of advancing STEM careers is vital. There is so much potential for reducing the risk of theft and destruction of property. This monitoring could enable users to respond to issues proactively and at a much lower cost than if they responded reactively.
Consider an example – creating small computers, not much larger than a grain of sand, which have the ability to recognize fire and send an alert. Millions of these tiny computers could be sprinkled over forest fire-prone areas. When fire is detected, the computers would share information. Large areas could be covered at a low cost; potentially devastating fires could be contained before they reach deadly proportions, saving companies and consumers millions.
Recognizing where a computer could monitor and alert other computers or humans to the change of a sensor’s status (going from no fire to a fire in my earlier example) could open the door to massive application of technology to lower the risk and/or cost of an event.
The United States already has the technological building blocks to drastically change our world. The Internet of Things, search capabilities, data analytics, telematics and artificial intelligence, to name a few, exist. The U.S. has what it needs to connect everything to everything, anytime, anywhere. We need technologists to bring it all together.
Consider an example – who would have thought a tractor would be able to drive itself just 10 short years ago? Using building blocks like GPS and automation, a tractor now has the ability to drive and plant to optimize yield.
Over the next 25 years, computers will continue to get smaller and they will continue to grow in computing power; they will continue to be more prevalent in all aspects of our lives. They will help us monitor information, live healthier lives, and ultimately allow us to respond to issues earlier and at a lower cost.
However, in order to use all the resources we have at our disposal, we need to concentrate on nurturing talent in STEM fields. Unemployment in technology fields is less than 1%. Even during the economic crisis in 2008-2009, the demand for technology-capable resources was high. In some respects, this is a nice problem to have; full employment gives people purpose and helps grow tax revenues. In other respects, it is a significant and growing issue. Without skilled resources, the economy will slow and struggle.
The strategy of gaining access to technology talent by taking resources from other companies isn’t sustainable and it isn’t good business. If the United States’ economy is to grow and thrive, we need to respond to the current shortage of technologists. We need to produce more out of college talent and retool our existing workforce. STEM education will enable greater economic fuel through capable resources.
The technology impact is growing exponentially and our workforce must keep pace. The cycle begins with STEM education early in children’s lives so they can see the value of life-long exploration, discovery and dynamic employment. Technology is changing our world; these young folks are the future leaders we’ll rely on to harness the power of technology and keep America’s businesses growing.