12 - Information Technology

The Information Technology Group provides technical service and support to all departments of the Division of Insurance. The Group ensures that IT initiatives have clear business goals and success metrics that align with, and fully support the Division's strategic mission and goals. The Group also ensures the protection of IT assets and the integrity, security and privacy of information entrusted to or maintained by the Division. The Information Technology Group develops and manages the implementation of custom applications in support of the Division's various departments. These application programs are deployed to improve business processes, maximize efficiencies and improve service levels while achieving increased productivity.

12.1 Mission

  • Support the mission, goals and objectives of the Division of Insurance, and provide efficient and useful services and technology to the Division's internal user community, as well as to external constituents
  • Provide effective, reliable and responsive hardware, software, networking infrastructure, support services and development personnel
  • Provide quality services to our user community
  • Strive for excellence and customer satisfaction in our networking, helpdesk, systems development and consulting endeavors. Perform our duties with a proactive approach and adopting a "can do" attitude
  • Constantly improve on the Division's investment in technology by: safeguarding technology assets; expanding technical knowledge and skills; working cooperatively with business partners and users; and, leveraging available State and NAIC technologies for the good of the Division 12.2 2008 Goals

12.2 2008 Goals

Install data encryption on all Division laptop computers.Complete
Perform security vulnerability testing of the Division's external network.Complete
Design, build and launch InsureMass and AgentFinder interactive information portal.Complete
Implement an interactive consumer web portal for automobile insurance rate comparisons.Complete
Complete a thorough physical inventory of all IT equipment and assure reconciliation with book inventory in compliance with audit recommendation in 2007.Complete
Upgrade CLARIS, OLLIE, OPRA and ARE Microsoft SQL Server 2000 databases to SQL Server 2005.Complete
Upgrade Microsoft Office Suite applications in all desktop computers and laptops to Office 2007.Complete
Upgrade Microsoft Windows XP Professional Operating System on all desktop computers and laptops to Microsoft Vista - Business.Complete

12.3 Primary Activities

Security Measures

Under state law, the Division of Insurance must establish and implement security mechanisms to ensure confidentiality and data integrity for any information that identifies an individual. After numerous incidents of data breaches reported in the news, the Division raised its security standard by augmenting its overall security strategy with an additional layer of security called data encryption. Today, the Division uses powerful encryption and strong access control to prevent unauthorized data access on all laptops. With this extra layer of security, the IT Group meets its commitment to ensuring full compliance with privacy regulations and the protection of the Division's brand image and reputation. In addition, this added security demonstrates compliance with internal and regulatory privacy requirements to auditors, senior management, and other stakeholders.

Consumer Website Tools

In order to further the Division's mission of helping consumers make informed insurance decisions, the IT Group and several other departments embarked on a strategic initiative aimed at alleviating the challenge faced by consumers in the process of finding local agents selling the line of insurance suited to their particular need. The completion of the AgentFinder interactive tool on the external website streamlines this process by allowing consumers to easily find agents selling the various lines of insurance in a specific geographic area with a few clicks of the mouse. Consumers may perform an advanced search using several criteria in order to narrow the search by company, geographic area, or lines of insurance. In addition, AgentFinder and the auto insurance premium comparison website are linked, allowing users to conveniently transition from sample premium searches to agent searches Insurance Producers benefit from AgentFinder because they can upload and present an array of demographic and business information on a public search tool used by potential insurance customers.

Software Deployment

The Division is committed to adopting and deploying cutting-edge technology to streamline business processes, maximize efficiencies, improve productivity and consolidate its strategic advantage. To that end, the IT Group successfully completed the enterprise-wide upgrade of its CLARIS, OLLIE, OPRA & ARE SQL databases from Microsoft SQL 2000 to Microsoft SQL 2005. The immediate benefit of these upgrades includes enhancement features that improve database security and manageability; performance optimization of our database servers; and increased developer productivity. The performance monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities of the upgraded software, as well as the ease of data backup and recovery in the event of a disaster, represents a significant boost in protection for the agency. Prompted by the success of the SQL upgrade, the IT Group launched another enterprise-wide upgrade of the new and improved Windows Vista Business operating system on all desktop computers and laptops. In addition, all Microsoft office application suites installed on all Division desktop computers and laptops were upgraded to Office 2007 Professional. This successful deployment provided improvements in the searching and use of data; enabled mobile workers to stay connected and productive in and out of office; improved desktop security; and, facilitated easier desktop management.

OLLIE (Online Licensing of Individuals and Entities) - Phase II

The IT Group, Administration and Producer Licensing Departments successfully enhanced the functionality of the OLLIE website to provide business entity producers the ability to renew their licenses online, as well as the ability to update their licensing profile with product and sales information that is helpful to consumers. This producer profile information populates the AgentFinder website, which connects consumers to insurance professionals based on criteria provided by the consumer. AgentFinder allows consumers to generate a list of agents from a database of the state's 70,000 licensed insurance professionals based on the geographic, product and company specifications that he or she selects. With the enhancements achieved in 2008, consumers can now find an insurance agency based on the same search criteria, in addition to its branch office locations.