Nationwide cuts project costs by 20 to 30 percent

An enterprise architecture repository based on IBM Rational software improves access to information

Published on 14 Nov 2012

"All other Rational tools that we use at Nationwide are going to naturally integrate with each other so we can really take advantage of how they work and share information between different IBM Rational tools, and even a lot of times, between other tools that Nationwide has." - Zahid Hossain, director of enterprise architecture, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company

Customer:
Nationwide

Industry:
Insurance

Deployment country:
United States

IBM Business Partner:
Armstrong Process Group, Inc.

Overview

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (Nationwide) provides a number of insurance-related products and services. Originally founded to support farmers in Ohio, today Nationwide is the seventh-largest auto insurer and the seventh-largest homeowner insurance provider in the United States. The company has approximately 36,000 employees.

Business need:
Nationwide wanted to create an enterprise architecture repository that would improve the consistency, completeness and availability of IT information used in impact analyses.

Solution:
The company worked with IBM Advanced Business Partner Armstrong Process Group, Inc. (APG) to create an enterprise architecture repository using IBM® Rational® System Architect software.

Benefits:
Nationwide has reduced the amount of time required for impact assessment from three months to less than one month. Cost estimating, which in the past required an entire month, now takes just one day.

Case Study

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company (Nationwide) provides a number of insurance-related products and services. Originally founded to support farmers in Ohio, today Nationwide is the seventh-largest auto insurer and the seventh-largest homeowner insurance provider in the United States. The company has approximately 36,000 employees.

Improving responsiveness and agility

Economic ups and downs, the increasing use of the Internet, the growing popularity of mobile devices. To stay competitive, companies must be able to respond to events like these quickly. However, as with many large organizations, the IT environment at Nationwide had become large and complex, which hindered agility. “As an organization, we have to continuously change and adapt to the changes in the marketplace, both because of new technical innovation as well as because of business environment changes,” says Zahid Hossain, director of enterprise architecture, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

In the past, when the company prepared to make changes to the IT environment, it was difficult to gather the information it needed to assess the impact of the change. “One of the things that we used to do any time we were going to have a change is we would rely on collective memory of a lot of individuals, so we’d gather people into a conference room and we’d try to understand what it meant for us and really start documenting information,” says Hossain. “But because we’d rely on people’s collective memory, it did take a lot of time, and sometimes the information would be incomplete or the information would not be correct.”

Because the insurance industry is highly regulated, the company often needs to locate information for auditors and to establish traceability within processes. But the company’s lack of a central repository of IT information made these tasks a challenge. Nationwide wanted to create an enterprise architecture repository that would improve the consistency and completeness of IT information and enable that information to be shared and reused by different groups and projects.

Launching an enterprise architecture initiative

In 2010, Nationwide initiated an enterprise architecture initiative. The company worked with IBM Advanced Business Partner Armstrong Process Group, Inc. (APG) to create an enterprise architecture repository using IBM® Rational® System Architect software. “APG is helping us to build an architecture repository as well as build an architecture capability within Nationwide so that we can quickly do impact assessments, understand the impact of change, and effectively plan for our changes,” says Hossain.

The Rational System Architect software enables the company to take the information needed for impact assessments and store it in a central repository. This information is then readily available in views and reports that can be tailored for different types of stakeholders, including executives, developers or auditors. “We can create those views very effectively, very easily, using Rational System Architect,” says Hossain.

The Rational System Architect software easily integrates with the company’s other applications from IBM, including IBM Rational Asset Manager and IBM Cognos software, so the company can run analytics and manage other assets that are also important for its enterprise architecture initiative. “All other Rational tools that we use at Nationwide are going to naturally integrate with each other so we can really take advantage of how they work and share information between different IBM Rational tools, and even a lot of times, between other tools that Nationwide has,” says Hossain.

Gaining rapid access to accurate information

Using the Rational System Architect software, Nationwide has significantly reduced the amount of time it takes to gather information for impact assessments. The information is also more accurate. “Many times in the past, Nationwide’s impact assessment analysis would take weeks and months, but now, with the use of Rational System Architect, we have been starting to do impact assessments and understand the impact of change in minutes by creating views and running simple reports from the Rational System Architect repository,” says Hossain. Further, the company can create the reports it needs to demonstrate compliance. “We want to make sure that we can provide the proof of the compliance of the regulatory rules,” says Hossain. “And so we are using IBM Rational System Architect to answer a lot of those questions, and we are very excited about the fact that in the future we are going to be able to answer those questions using IBM Rational System Architect more effectively and easily.”

Nationwide has reduced the amount of time required for impact assessment from three months to less than one month. Cost estimating, which in the past required an entire month, can now be completed in a single day. Plus, the company has been able to significantly reduce the number of domain experts required to participate in the impact analysis process. The data in the repository is more trustworthy, complete and consistent. And it is now used companywide, improving consistency. All of these improvements have resulted in a 20 to 30 percent reduction in project costs, along with an increased understanding of the scope of proposed changes.

The new solution provides an excellent basis for the company’s expanding enterprise architecture initiative. “Nationwide is absolutely pleased and there is a lot of excitement within the company around what we are doing in enterprise architecture, and specifically with the Rational tools,” says Hossain. “We are very excited about the future and the partnership that we have with IBM and APG in developing enterprise architecture at Nationwide.”

For more information

To learn more about IBM Rational System Architect software, please
contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the
following website: ibm.com/software/awdtools/systemarchitect


To learn more about IBM Advanced Business Partner Armstrong Process
Group, Inc. (APG), please visit: www.aprocessgroup.com

Components

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Rational System Architect

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America October 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and Rational are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation.

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