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Working Paper: Case Study

USAA: Organizing for Innovation and Superior Customer Service

This case describes how USAA was transforming itself and how the IT unit was addressing changing demands from customers and business partners.
Abstract

USAA, a diversified financial services firm serving the U.S. military, had long been recognized for outstanding customer service. The company had never operated branches, instead providing services through remote channels, such as the telephone, Internet (USAA.com), mail, fax, and any bank’s ATM machines. USAA wanted customers to be able to access their services any way they liked. By 2010, however, USAA recognized that serving customers remotely meant responding to the rapid introduction of mobile consumer devices. To ensure constant innovation and integrated customer services, USAA was transforming its operating model and promoting innovation across the enterprise. The IT unit was focused on providing technology platforms and solutions to support both an integrated business model and rapid innovations. This case describes how USAA was transforming itself and, specifically, how the IT unit was addressing changing demands from customers and business partners.

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About the Authors

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Jeanne Ross, MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research (CISR)

MIT SLOAN CENTER FOR INFORMATION SYSTEMS RESEARCH 

Founded in 1974 and grounded in the MIT tradition of rigorous field-based research, MIT CISR helps executives meet the challenge of leading dynamic, global, and information-intensive organizations. Through research, teaching, and events, the center stimulates interaction among scholars, students, and practitioners. More than ninety firms sponsor our work and participate in our consortium. 

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