Making a Technology Vision Real at RLI

by Donald Light, December 19, 2005


San Francisco, CA, USA December 19, 2005

Insurer RLI has deployed technology uniquely suited to its product-centric go to market strategy.

In a new report, , Celent examines how RLI, an Illinois-based midsize specialty carrier, has transformed its technology group. The company implemented a new IT strategy to maximize business value and mitigate the weakness of legacy systems. RLI tailored its technology to meet the needs of distinct business units and make it easier for wholesalers and agents to do business with the company. This was achieved by creating business-specific front end applications and moving to a contemporary platform and architecture.

RLI has a unique organizational structure. Product groups operate as relatively autonomous business units容ach with its own management, underwriters, distribution channels, and compensation method. RLI痴 technology group developed front end applications that address the needs of the various product groups熔ne for its wholesaler channel, one for its retail agent channel, and one for its surety business. RLI is also creating a .NET infrastructure that will enable its next generation of applications.

"IT at RLI has come a long way in a relatively short time," says Donald Light, senior analyst and author of the report. "In a sense, RLI痴 unusual product-driven line of business model made a front end usability IT strategy an obvious choice. But as has been said, the essence of leadership is to see the obvious before others see it, and then to make it happen."

Light continued, "Less obvious was the challenge of figuring out how to upgrade the infrastructure (to a .NET platform) and creating a roadmap to maintain, replace, or wrap the legacy applications. RLI also made a decision to use outsourcing to lower the cost of maintaining those legacy systems, while simultaneously recalibrating current IT staff痴 skill sets."

The 22-page report contains three figures and two tables.

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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents


San Francisco, CA, USA December 19,  2005

Return to report Abstract


Executive Summary 3
Introduction 4
A Plan For Change 7
The Foundation For Change 9
eSubmissions 13
eCommerce 15
RLink 17
Conclusions 20
Objectivity and Methodology  21

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