Dele Oladapo is a vice president in the Global Business & Technology Solutions Department (GBTS) at Prudential Financial, Inc. and Chief Information Officer for the Law and Compliance and the Corporate Human Resources departments. Oladapo is responsible for implementing technology strategy and delivering information technology services such as governance, architecture, systems automation and end user experience for these departments. Oladapo also leads the Business Solutions Center and the Enterprise Information Management and Design and Development Solutions teams. Oladapo also oversees the Office of Veterans Initiatives and is an executive sponsor of Workforce Opportunity Services, a nonprofit training and hiring program that partners with Prudential to prepare military veterans and urban youth for careers in information technology and business operations. Oladapo was responsible for the development of a new business and technology center that opened in April 2014 in El Paso, Texas that services Prudential’s U.S. business operations. Previously, Oladapo led a global team of specialists that provided software connectivity for mission critical platforms in trading and call center applications. He also was involved in the company’s demutualization, the Prudential of Japan/Gibraltar data center migration, and business continuation technology planning efforts. Oladapo has worked as a systems manager in Actuarial Systems and in Individual Life Systems, where he was responsible for implementing policy administration technology, customer relationship technology, service delivery technology, financial systems, business continuation architecture and infrastructure and other distributed platforms. Oladapo has a BS degree in electrical engineering from Polytechnic University and an MBA from Columbia University. He is a member of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum. Oladapo was co-chair of the Black Leadership Forum business resource group at Prudential, and is currently the executive advisor of its Information Technology Committee. He is also a member and board member of CALIBR and is active with Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
The culture at Prudential is one in which respect, work life balance and kindness are commonplace. Prudential delivers value to its customers, shareholders and employees while remaining trustworthy, innovative and a shining example of sustainable performance excellence. We were pleased this year to be named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute in recognition of our ethics-based business practices and corporate culture.
In addition, in 2015, Prudential ranked No. 5 among 56 large corporations who were listed in Computerworld magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work in IT”. This honor validates our strategy of offering IT employees the opportunity to work with a mix of cutting-edge and traditional business technology in a work environment that offers flexible options to help satisfy their need for work/life balance. Not only are our employees responsible for providing virtual desktop technology, remote access capabilities and applications that support the mobile workforce, they also are avid users of this technology. We’re proud of them and they, in turn, take great pride in Prudential’s brand and reputation.
Our focus on employee opinions, talent management and overall concern for people shows consistent dedication to our most important asset – our employees. Our success comes from the extraordinary efforts of an extremely talented employee population. Our focus on talent has yielded the recruitment and retention of difference makers at all levels in the firm.
Currently, there is a noticeably smaller number of students who are interested in or aware of careers in information technology. To help reverse this trend, a decade ago Prudential entered into a partnership with the nonprofit organization Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS) to develop a work/study program and provide IT career opportunities at Prudential for high potential urban students from the Newark area, where Prudential is headquartered. And five years ago, we added veterans who are transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce to the WOS program.
Through partnerships with local high schools, colleges, youth organizations, veteran support organizations, government offices and local military bases, recruits are offered scholarships to attend a training and certification program at a local university. The recruits become paid consultants of WOS while working at Prudential. At the end of the training period, Prudential has the option to maintain the consultancy or extend full-time offers for employment based on business needs.
In April 2014, Prudential opened a business and technology services center in El Paso, Texas that offers meaningful training and quality job opportunities to military veterans, military service members and their families and people from diverse backgrounds. For the past two years, Military Times magazine has named Prudential a “Best for Vets” Employer for its commitment to providing job training and opportunities for veterans, and support for military personnel on reserve duty.
Last year, our early talent identification program exposed more than 40 summer interns to the field of technology. Some of them were from such schools as Rutgers, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Seton Hall University; others were from the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey. And for the past two years, we provided work/study opportunities and exposure to technology careers to students at the Cristo Rey Preparatory school in Newark. This year we are also working with a special summer program that focuses on exposing girls who are high school juniors and seniors to the world of information technology.
They will learn that technology plays a crucial role in today’s business environment to empower business units to be innovative in terms of products and services. The role that technology plays to support the business is crucial. New opportunities to leverage technology are anchored in new concepts around Big Data and Digital. A recent McKinsey report found that: “. . . the U.S. labor force is aging, resulting in a fall in labor force participation. To compensate, the U.S. must accelerate productivity growth by more than 30 percent, reaching a rate not seen since the 1960s, to maintain historic growth rates in per capita GDP.” McKinsey feels Big Data can easily handle this task. The innovative thinking that will be required to harness the promise of Big Data may result in game changing competitive advantages for firms that can unlock the value in Big Data and Digital.
A pronounced focus on innovation is required to be successful in the business world of tomorrow. At Prudential, innovative thinking has served the firm from inception to date. When we were founded in 1875, it was with the bold vision that we could deliver insurance products to middle class Americans at a time when life insurance was normally a benefit reserved for the wealthy. Today, innovations in our technology and products, our focus on talent and our international strategy, have helped make Prudential one of the most admired firms in the country.
Ten years ago social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest did not exist. Today, these four media outlets have an estimated collective 2.3 billion subscribers. Today mobile usage accounts for 21percent of website traffic and is estimated it will exceed the use of traditional desktop devices by 2020. Execution of a digital strategy is the bridge between the supply (products, talent and thought leadership research) and demand (social media population – customers and advisors). The advancement of technology, digital application and desire to develop more customer-centric business strategies centered on big data requires consistent enhancement is a critical element in a strategy of innovation.
“To Dream About Making A Song With Him Is Beyond My Capabilities.”
It’s the mark of a truly great friendship when you can disagree with each other and 5 minutes later have nothing but good things to say to each other. That’s exactly what happened in the case of legends Freddie Mercury of Queen and David Bowie, who prior to Mercury’s death in 1991 enjoyed a lengthy friendship dating back to 1972 that, as with any friendship, was marked with occasional periods of disagreement.
Despite having disagreements over fairly major things, such as David Bowie wanting his vocals from Queen’s “Cool Cat” removed the day before the album was due for release, Freddie never had an unkind word to share about his friend, coming to his defense immediately when an overzealous talk show host tried to pry a feud from Mercury where there wasn’t one.
Prudential Financial, Inc. helps individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services. Since it was founded in 1875, a strong sense of social responsibility has been embedded in the company, guiding efforts to help customers achieve peace of mind and financial security. Prudential carries out this mission by providing innovative solutions to complex financial challenges. As a purpose driven company, Prudential uses its skills and resources to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve economic success. In 2015, Prudential ranked No. 5 among large corporations on Computerworld magazine’s list of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT. It was the seventh consecutive year Prudential was named to the list. Prudential offers IT employees the opportunity to work with cutting-edge business technology. Prudential has a business and technology solutions center in El Paso, Texas and in Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland.