Below is the ninth of 13 Novarica Research Council Impact Award nominee case studies that INN is presenting, in no particular order. The awards, which will be presented at the research and advisory firm’s October 30th event in New York, honor best practices in insurance industry IT initiatives and strategy.

In an effort to improve system stability and availability, Allstate Financial ran a root-cause analysis of production issues, which determined that many were due to application integration issues across the enterprise. In response, Allstate established E-Test, an enterprisewide test environment comprised of key administration systems, data stores and applications.

The test environment was built using existing infrastructure, and the team used homegrown tools to prepare test data. An established governance process ensured that important data attributes—social security and tax ID numbers—were scrubbed, and that the team adhered to security standards. 

Facing a challenge of consistently scrubbing data across applications, Allstate used an intermediate environment then migrated the data into the E-Test environment. Data is scrubbed using one algorithm across applications, ensuring data consistency while protecting PII/PHI, which enables Allstate to perform integration testing across applications.

Eight IT staff led the effort and liaised with the company’s application experts when on-boarding each application. Allstate also worked with an enterprise coordination team to plan test cases, identify the applications effected and test data requirements.

The project reduced risks across the enterprise, including the number of incidents due to “external factors,” meaning those attributed to another part of the enterprise, which declined 31 percent compared with the 12-month running average. The project has been running for nine months and is anticipated to run into Q2 2013.

To see coverage of the other Novarica's Impact Award nominees, click here.

Check back Thursday to find out how Zurich enables program administrators to upload commercial specialty business in real time from their agency systems.

About the awards: Novarica’s first annual Research Council Impact Awards honor best practices in insurance industry IT initiatives and strategy. Nominees were selected across four categories—Practice, Quick Hit, Transformation and Expansion—with three nominees chosen for each (a tie in the Expansion category meant four nominees were selected). The nominees were selected by a committee from a collection of case studies drafted by Novarica from submissions by insurers.

The nominating committee included CIOs Andy Wood (Wilton Re), Dan Simpson (Trustmark), Eric Bulis (SBLI USA), Larry Fortin (Millers Mutual Group), Mark Berthiaume (Chubb), Pete Moreau (Amica), Piyush Singh (Great American Insurance Company), Reuben Broadfoot (LifeMap), Sal Abano (Tower Insurance), Stuart Tainsky (PURE) and Tim Billow (ING).

Winners will be determined by votes from the more-than-300 members of the Novarica Research Council, a moderated knowledge-sharing community of insurer CIOs and senior IT executives.

The nominees and winners will be recognized at the Novarica Research Council Impact Awards Event in New York City now on November 14th. 

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