Below is the 11th of 11 Novarica Research Council Impact Award nominee case studies, which INN is presenting in no particular order. The awards will be presented at the research and advisory firm’s August 21st event in New York and honor best practices in insurance industry IT initiatives and strategy.
Great American, a large specialty lines insurer, is tapping its own internal resources for innovative technologies to improve business operations through a program called iLab.
Each iLab is a six-week sprint, where cross-functional teams build a prototype that solves a real business problem. In 2012, the company completed five such projects: a mobile underwriting application, an executive dashboard that used multiple information sources, exploration of text mining techniques, a desktop underwriting data gathering application and an electronic signature service available for any application.
Without the help of external vendors or service providers, Great American relies on the small teams to take personal accountability and ownership for the success of their project. This has allowed the company to overcome cultural and organizational challenges.
On top of efficiencies already being found by the individual technologies, Great American believes its model has significantly improved employee engagement and satisfaction and has helped unleash employees’ creative powers to build new intellectual capital.
Novarica’s take: “Great American pulled iLab participants out of their regular job responsibilities so they could work full-time on speculative projects for six weeks. The company’s leadership made the hard decision to prioritize innovation and not ask people to do it off the side of their desks.” — Matthew Josefowicz, managing director at Novarica
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