Below is the 7th 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.

RLI Insurance wanted to provide its authorized agents with an always-available tailored workflow that enables them to submit insurance applications, review policy documents, rate/quote/bind business where authorized and create various reports. So, the midsize specialty insurer built a new unified portal on Microsoft Azure and Cloud Services that also serves its underwriters.

While many IT employees spent approximately 2,000 hours on the six-month-plus, on-time, on-budget project, business users participated in requirements gathering, design, initial prioritization and testing. A business analyst on the solutions team was responsible for overall coordination of the effort. The company used agile development, which involved close collaboration between business and IT.

The application is a composite application, so RLI is able to quickly tailor and reuse underwriting system capabilities within the agent portal. The portal provides self-service capabilities that create operational efficiency and serve as a selling point for prospective new agents. The insurer now sees agent adoption expanding. And, key factors in success was having a business champion help drive and prioritize the effort and engaging agents in the design process.

Novarica’s Take: “This project shows the advantages of leveraging the cloud technology in composite applications. Using cloud does not have to be overwhelming. Even midsized companies can effectively leverage the cloud to deliver value without making a big strategic decision on the technology.” —Chad Hersh, Managing Director at Novarica.

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