Web 2.0 and rich Internet applications (RIAs) are making online collaboration and workflow more responsive. But while the digital age has opened up a variety of channels for creating and sharing information, IT managers in the insurance industry find themselves at a crossroads: They must secure these data-intensive processes within organizational boundaries and beyond the corporate firewall and respect privacy at all costs. And the industry as a whole is under a regulatory microscope.
RIAs are making internal workflow processes easier for employees by improving content management and data accuracy. By automating the flow of information among people and systems, and eliminating manual handoffs, insurance companies can also reduce the unstructured communication that is facilitated through paper, e-mail, phone and subjective human decision making. For transactions that require a document of record, companies can dynamically create a PDF from an RIA, enabling them to protect and control information over its entire life cycle -- from creation, through distribution and collaboration, to archiving and destruction. Companies can assign and revoke access to information, restrict who can do what with a document and also maintain detailed audit trails. Meanwhile customers are more confident to engage in online processes when they are intuitive, expressive, easy to use and secure.