Accelerating Innovation & Modernization with Strategic Investments

Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company levels up its focus on customers as it pursues flexible and modern innovation with strategic investments in people, process, and technology.

Rhonda O'Connor
March 14, 2024
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About Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company 

Boston Mutual Life Insurance Co. | 1891

For 133+ years, Boston Mutual Life Insurance Company has provided working Americans and their families with life insurance solutions. Boston Mutual Life is dedicated to acting in the best interests of its policyholders, producers, employees, and its communities.

To continue serving customers at the highest possible level, Boston Mutual Life desired an outside partner to help identify appropriate strategic investments to accelerate innovation, technology, and process modernization. 

Proactively address industry challenges 

To successfully navigate common industry challenges like regulatory requirements, data security and synchronization, and technical debt, Boston Mutual Life saw the need to build upon innovative technology solutions that focused on bringing value to internal and external customers.

According to Paul A. Quaranto, Jr., Boston Mutual Life’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, the company’s Information Services (IS) department, which oversees its information technology among other related functionality, needed to provide transparent strategies that aligned with all areas of the business and the company’s vision for the future (Figure 1). Trility served as trusted advisor in supporting the executive leadership and IT teams, analyzing where the company was at and helped plan a route to achieve the future state.

Figure 1 | Lines merging to one to support company vision

Solution approach

During the initial phase of the engagement, Trility helped identify and validate strategic investments to accelerate innovation through data audits, stakeholder interviews, and business application demos (Figure 2). Having a neutral outside perspective to evaluate and validate current state and desired future state proved invaluable in gaining momentum across the entire business, shared Dave Martin, Boston Mutual Life’s Vice President - Chief Information Officer. 

As the partnership continued, Boston Mutual Life and Trility mapped out all the opportunities that would enhance the technical foundation to support growth. 

 “[The partnership] went from good business alignment to tactically executing on some pretty distinct business disciplines,” Martin shared. “Trility’s expertise around data maturity, infrastructure, and performance have leveled up the foundation we can build upon.”
– Dave Martin, Boston Mutual Life’s Vice President/CIO
Figure 2 |  Icon for Data Audit, Stakeholder Interview, Demos

Providing transparency across the organization

The formulation of a strategic IT plan resulted in company-wide transparency – to the executive team, to other areas of business, and with the IT organization itself. The IT team leveraged the plan to connect with other departments through the lens of investment. “We could demonstrate the work was building up the foundation to innovate and implement things in a secure and faster way,” said Martin.

This transparency has aligned with change management in progress across Boston Mutual Life. For Martin, he witnessed how conversations were enabled through the initial framework put in place with Trility’s help.

It’s so important to be partnered with somebody like Trility that gets technology is cool, but if it isn't delivered with a business result, it's just cool and it's costing us money.
– Dave Martin, Boston Mutual Life’s Vice President/CIO

Enabled the right investments in people and processes

Boston Mutual Life had solid technical foundational strategies and Trility helped ensure that the business goals were identified at the front of IT planning, Martin said. The partnership provides assurance that Boston Mutual Life is leading transformational changes with a long-term view on cost and strategy. 

Figure 3 |  Goal icons that connect and support star icons for business values that connect to business value with IT building the foundations

A framework to connect goals to business value

Trility helped develop the framework of the IT plan that has enabled more internal conversations that constantly keep the needs of its stakeholders at the forefront. According to Martin, it provided transparency to the IT department’s activities and directly tied activities to the business objective and the needs of the company’s internal and external customers (Figure 3).

Evolution of the IT organization

Accelerating innovation, responding to business needs

While many of Boston Mutual Life’s IT initiatives are focused on technical and foundational strategies, those efforts really position Boston Mutual to help “accelerate and support new business platforms and tools,” shared Martin. 

Proof: High-Impact Investment

A key outcome was implementing a logging and monitoring program, which now saves the IT team hours in troubleshooting service tickets. Martin shared a recent IT ticket took less than five minutes to resolve instead of 4-5 hours it would have taken the team without implementing the logging and monitoring solution. The situation that triggered the ticket was caused by an outside vendor service outage and had self-corrected within minutes. “This type of operational efficiency is exactly what we meant by high-impact investments.”
Figure 4 | Visual showing an integrated team to help build cloud skills and knowledge

Knowledge transfer & dynamic team approach

In addition to the technical wins, Martin and his team have appreciated the amount of knowledge-sharing and mentoring the Trility partnership has brought to Boston Mutual Life. “This partnership isn’t just getting work done,” he shared. “It’s building up the knowledge base that now lives and will continue to grow in my team.” 

“This partnership isn’t just getting work done,” he shared. “It’s building up the knowledge base that now lives and will continue to grow in my team.” 
– Dave Martin, Boston Mutual Life’s Vice President/CIO

Boston Mutual Life chose an integrated approach in working with Trility. This allowed both companies to bring team members to work together and upskill future-state capabilities (Figure 4). The IT team is making high-impact investments that align with the vision to support internal and external customers for long-term growth. “Our buying pattern has evolved to think beyond the moment, and Trility has helped our team do that,” shared Martin.

Bringing added value

Martin also appreciates when Trility supports Boston Mutual Life with assistance that goes beyond the initial expectations of the project. “It’s part of their 7-star service model to go beyond when they can.” When he needed to find and hire some key roles new to the organization, Trility helped filled the gap. “This was invaluable because I had limited resources on staff to help me interview and select people for these positions. Trility helped speed up the process by assisting us in finding the people with the right skill sets.”

Scaled trust in the partnership 

The most valuable part of this relationship has been just the genuine alignment in approach and shared organizational values. “It’s easy to find smart people,” Martin said. “But when you can find a partner that understands your business objectives and can help accelerate the tactical execution of the IT plan that enables business success - that is one of the reasons we continue to engage with Trility.”

Accelerating innovation & growth

The partnership with Trility has supported Boston Mutual Life in maximizing its investments in technology now and in the future. It has also positioned them to anticipate future opportunities and easily adapt new ways to accelerate innovation and growth.

Other outcomes include:

  • Developing a comprehensive IT plan aligned with overall business strategy and prioritizing high-impact investments
  • Improving clarity and alignment for the IT team with the company vision and direction
  • Establishing a plan for implementing modern digital security tools and processes
  • Implementing foundational systems to optimize IT’s ability to innovate and advance business objectives
  • Maturing the company’s disaster recovery / business continuity capabilities related to technology
  • Understanding of the roles and the future-state skills needed for IT teams

Need Business Results

If your company has similar challenges and your decision-makers need results tied to customer value, we'd welcome a conversation.