CIO profile: Doron Hai, CapSpecialty

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Doron Hai has 20 years of experience in senior operations and business transformation across various industries. As of 2017, Doron leads both Operations and Information Technology at CapSpecialty, a U.S. specialty insurance provider for small and mid-sized businesses. He joined CapSpecialty as Head of Operations in 2014 after serving as Operations Executive, Small Business Division at AIG. Doron has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BS in Industrial Engineering from the Technion Israeli Institute of Technology. He was interviewed for the Novarica Update in 2018. The insurance tech analyst firm gave permission to Digital Insurance to re-post this interview.

You took over the CIO role at CapSpecialty last year. What are your priorities?
We recently reorganized and created two separate IT functional groupings for application development and maintenance that are aligned to Craft and Flow lines of business. We realized the two businesses present different sets of challenges, and by having a separate head for Craft and Flow we believe we can more effectively deliver what is required for the unique needs of these areas. As we continue to simplify our technology stack, we are capitalizing on investments we’ve made in the digital space and move towards a service oriented architecture.

What’s surprised you about stepping into the CIO role?
There are multiple initiatives coming into IT from various customers, both internal and external, and it has become even clearer that the role touches almost every facet of the business. You must make sure the basics are working right at optimal cost, while also maintaining a strategic focus to enable the future of the organization in an increasingly dynamic and innovative environment. You constantly have to make educated tradeoffs.

What’s your major focus area right now?
The biggest focus area for us is digitization and simplification. We’ve been investing in modern technology to provide superior customer experience to our distribution partners. We recently launched DragonX, a cloud-based platform built in Angular on Microsoft Azure, which streamlines the end-to-end underwriting process from submission to issuance of a policy and simplifies post-bind transactions. Optimizing underwriting rules is the basis of the new system, but we had to build a new core system to support the user experience that we wanted to deliver.

How are you thinking about emerging tech in concert with these plans?
A lot of time has been spent on how we deliver the desired user experience. We’re also thinking in terms of externalizing services in a wide range of areas, including quote, bind, endorsement, etc. I think there’s a lot to learn from InsureTech in terms of their focus on ease of use, and their orientation towards microservices.Has the relationship between IT and other business units changed recently?Business leaders are more knowledgeable about technology solutions out there. Underwriting management is constantly thinking about how to improve the broker experience and processing efficiency, and there has been more collaboration in assessing and experimenting with new technologies. There’s a lot of openness to new ideas.

How have you and your team leveraged the relationship with Novarica?
The CapSpecialty IT team uses Novarica research papers, which we find very helpful. We’ve worked with Novarica to conduct an organizational study to ensure that we align our business needs and best practices. Occasionally we speak with advisors from the Novarica team to bounce ideas off each other, which is always great.

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