Srinivas Koushik shows the insurance industry how it's done online

Nationwide CTO is using Web services to streamline agency relationships

“Unlike other industries, we sell trust and information,” says Srinivas Koushik, enterprise CTO and vice president of $117 billion insurance company Nationwide, adding that its information has to be secure, private, and available at all times. “But also unlike other industries, we don’t have anything close to the supply-chain efficiencies they have,” he says.

Moving Nationwide toward that efficiency took up most of his time in 2003. The company implemented a state-of-the-art policy-management system, which allows its agents to sell and service policies online. The former is commonplace, Koushik says; the latter is not.

To keep Nationwide on the cutting edge, Koushik also is spearheading an effort to use Web services to streamline Nationwide’s relationships with insurance agencies. This initiative would link third-party agency management software to his company’s proprietary back end.