The proof of the pudding, as they say,                            is in the eating.

IT Strategy and Roadmap

The Client

A large, mutual, commercial lines property-casualty carrier was falling behind the competitive curve in technological capability and wanted an independent and objective set of perspectives on its IT strategy. As a result of X by 2’s enterprise architecture assessment, the client has gained confidence in its strategic planning process and has put an IT roadmap in place targeted toward increasing its market advantage.

Business Situation

A regional-mutual commercial lines insurer needed to identify and prioritize initiatives that would improve its service to agents and policyholders and increase its competitive differentiation. The insurer had a strategic planning process in place that included a regular review of IT activity; however, the IT department wanted to validate the current IT plan and establish a detailed roadmap to ensure that technology enablers were aligned with business objectives and imperatives. 

Additionally, the insurer had begun modernizing legacy systems to respond to business pain points, but had concerns about the modernization path being taken and whether that path led to a sustainable enterprise architecture. Most important, the carrier wanted to ensure that any activity it undertook increased value to policyholders and agents and positioned the company for the future.

Services Provided

As a result of X by 2’s analysis, the client discovered that, at an enterprise level, it did not have the architecture and technology needed to support business objectives. In particular, the agent portal was identified as an area where the insurer was significantly behind the competitive curve. The top systems initiatives targeted were modernizing its policy administration and claims system, creating an enterprise portal, and developing advanced data analysis, data mining, and ad-hoc reporting capabilities. 

In each of these areas, X by 2 delivered recommendations for solutions that would support the desired future state while also providing scalability and aligning with targeted enterprise architecture objectives. According to the client, a key differentiator in X by 2’s work product was the creation of a detailed, documented, and actionable plan for achieving the desired to-be state. 

The client was also able to use X by 2’s objective assessment to make critical changes to processes and IT/business organization. This included modifying roles and responsibilities, elevating the importance of the architectural role, and establishing better project communications between business and IT. 

While the analysis revealed to the client that there were areas where IT activity did not align with best practices or where they were behind peer companies, it also highlighted areas where IT goals and activity did align with business objectives. 

Today, the client has a roadmap in place that supports IT strategic planning and serves as a key communication device with the C-level suite to obtain buy-in and budget approval on IT investments. As a result of X by 2’s in-depth and objective assessment, the client can go forward with confidence.

Our Work

X by 2 conducted an in-depth enterprise architecture and IT roadmap assessment. Beginning by working directly with all key constituents across the business, X by 2 captured the as-is state of core processes, systems and data, and technology and architecture. Because users had been reluctant to bring problems directly to IT, having X by 2 as an objective third party was important to obtain unfiltered input from the full user base. This assessment was also combined with market research on competitors’ capabilities, industry best practices, and X by 2’s extensive industry experience. 

X by 2 identified key pain points and capability gaps that involved people, business processes, and technology. Key findings included a lack of self-service capabilities; lack of business process automation; functional gaps in core applications; and insufficient data access and analysis. As a result, the carrier was experiencing a high cost of service request compared to competitors, while agents and customers dealt with reduced responsiveness and error-prone business processes. This in turn led to an image in the marketplace of being a less technologically advanced carrier and caused the carrier to miss out on revenue opportunity.

X by 2’s analysis also incorporated an in-depth architecture assessment that validated whether or not areas of the client’s current IT strategy would close these gaps and support targeted business objectives. It prioritized major business and IT initiatives that would improve the company’s competitive position. And, it established a future target state for the various areas of architecture—data, business, application, and enterprise—and provided a roadmap for achieving those states. 

In addition, X by 2’s assessment included recommended changes involving people, business processes, and IT organization that would enable the client to best achieve its business objectives.