On average each year, the Social Security Administration receives 350 million visits to its website, processes over 220 million online transactions and handles 60 million phone calls. When Sean Brune’s agency was forced to limit in-person service because of the pandemic, his leadership as CIO enabled the agency to seamlessly shift to digital, phone and mail services — and allow employees to work remotely.
“We see emerging tech and IT modernization as bi-directional,” Brune said. “We certainly have a technology modernization plan that we use to guide our use of new technologies, but we stay flexible and update our plan based on changes in our business environment.”
The past year proved it is possible to “modernize our service and the technology we use much faster than in the past,” he said.
Looking forward, Brune is focused on leading the completion of the nationwide implementation of a modern case processing system for disability insurance claims, transitioning to a new telephony instructor and expanding the digital self-service for the 57 million Americans who have created personalized and secure online accounts. Goals are to modernize agency operations, improve customer experience and ensure vulnerable and underserved populations have access to Social Security programs.
“Technology is an enabler, not a limiter,” Brune said. “We want to serve the public the way they prefer to be served and in the manner they’re accustomed to completing their business with other entities.”