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Combating COVID-19 with rapid digitalisation IN ASSOCIATION WITH

WORKPL ACE SAFETY AND INSURANCE BOARD (WSIB)

DIGITAL REPORT 2020


Combating COVID-19 with rapid digitalisation

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WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON PRODUCED BY

GLEN WHITE

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WSIB

Samantha Liscio, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at WSIB, discusses industry trends, digital transformation and the impact of COVID-19

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W

ithin the insurance industry, Samantha Liscio, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Workplace Safety and Insurance

Board (WSIB) has seen the sector mirror what the organisation itself is experiencing internally. “It’s that customer focus,” says Liscio. “Our customers want to be able to deal with us anytime, anywhere and however they want, so we need to ensure that our products and services support that. This trend is one of six key drivers for our 2020 IT strategy at WSIB, to develop new channels and a sustainable operating model that are digitally focused as well as digitalising our core services and developing our work-from-home operations. The other five elements of our IT strategy include business intelligence and analytics, cyber and digital security, modernising applications, providing digital infrastructure and modernising our operating models, all with the customer experience in mind.” J U LY 2 0 2 0


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WSIB

“Our customers want to be able to deal with us anytime, anywhere and however they want, so we need to ensure that our products and services support that”

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— Samantha Liscio, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

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Expanding on the industry trends emerging within insurance, Liscio explains that rapid digitalisation is posing challenges for insurance companies. “Insurance companies tend to be older companies that have been around a long time and have been built on a foundation of processes developed over decades, sometimes centuries, which can be longstanding and hard to change. These longstanding business models however do need to change to be flexible and adaptable if they are to continue to meet customer expectations.”


Accessing your WSIB data just got easier CLICK TO WATCH

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Leading
through
 extraordinary
 times The
last
3
decades
of
TCS
Canada
has
been
an
epic
 journey
partnering
with
Top
Banks
&
Insurance
�rms,
 Financial
Market
Infrastructure
entities,
Crown
 Corporations,
Retailers,
Manufacturing
�rms,
EnergyResource
&
Utility
majors.
We
have
participated
in
 innovation
with
marquee
academic
institutions
and
 exciting
�ntechs.
We
have
continued
to
evolve
as
a
 leading
job
creator
on
IT
services
and
have
made
 foundational
impacts
igniting
the
passion
of
the
younger
 generation
through
STEM
in
21
Canadian
cities
touching
 more
than
8000
minds
(including
members
of
Canada’s
 indigenous
community
&
other
underrepresented
 groups).


The
last
3
months
saw
a
pronounced
effect
across
 societies,
industries,
and
economies.
During
this
moment
 of
truth,
active
employee
engagement
&
well-being
 globally
has
been
top
priority
for
TCS,
while
we
continue
 to
support
mission
critical
technology
backbones
of
 organizations.
Financial
Services
sector
is
a
key
vehicle
 for
governments
to
navigate
and
heal.
From
our
deep
 relationships
with
top
�nancial
services
�rms,
we
have
 seen
three
speci�c
thrusts
amidst
lockdown
and
an
 emerging
new
beginning
that
pivots
on
elastic
model
of
 Technology,
Operations
and
Workforce.

#bfsi
#newbeginning
 #covid19

Ready
to
Weather
 the
Storm



PURPOSE
DRIVEN

The
pandemic
has
forced
 organizations
to
look
beyond
the
 products
they
make
and
sell
to
the
 purpose
behind
their
existence.
As
 they
embark
on
this
transformative
 journey,
we
will
continue
to
enable
 our
clients’
strategic
intent
and
 journey
of
end-customer
purpose
 centric
themes
(prosperity
for
SME
 segment,
wellness
of
individuals,
 �nancial
health
of
portfolios)
 orchestrated
through
an
ecosystem
 of
internal
&
partner
solutions
and
 catalyzed
by
Open
Banking
move
 towards
pan-industry
collaboration.

RESILIENT

Our
adoption
of
a
Secure
Borderless
 Workspaces
(SBWS™)
model
has
 ensured
service
continuity
for
 elevated
levels
of
customer
 conversations
and
high
consequence
 transactions
(deferrals,
payments,
 investments).
Our
contextual
 knowledge
has
enabled
swift
 realignment
of
efforts
on
government
 (Canada,
US)
relief
&
cross-segment
 (individuals,
businesses)
customer
 care
imperatives
while
sustaining
 paramount
initiatives
around
�nance,
 risk,
cyber
and
�nancial
crime
using
 cognitive
solutions.


ADAPTABLE

We
are
actively
participating
in
 endeavors
around
accelerated
 intelligent
responsive
processes,
 digital
parity
across
channels,
 insights
driven
decisioning,
 open
&
agile
architecture,
 elastic
infrastructure
to
be
 operationally
nimble
and
 strategically
progressive
 addressing
the
changing
 environment.


We
are
privileged
to
be
a
key
partner
for
WSIB,
who
has
106
years’
 heritage
and
organizational
purpose
of
wellness
protecting
and
 promoting
healthy
&
safe
workplaces.
We
enabled
100%
of
our
team
 working
remotely
within
�rst
2
weeks
of
lock-down.
We
accelerated
 digital
journey
transformation
for
low
touch
frictionless
experiences
for
 all
-
employees,
businesses,
and
healthcare
providers
-
for
claims
 registration,
administration,
and
return-to-work.
 To
pivot
this
change
management
and
organizational
 redesign,
we
envisaged
a
strategy
for
enterprise
 quality
management
and
operating
agility.


Manmeet
Chhabra

Business
Head,
Banking-Financial
Services
&
Insurance,
Canada Business
Head,
Banking-Financial
Services
&
Insurance,
Canada

As
human
ingenuity
embarks
on
a
new
beginning,
we
look
 forward
to
meaningful
contributions
to
Canadian
 industries
for
engendering
resilience,
driving
adaptability,
 and
enabling
customer
&
societal
purpose.



Having lived the reality of major transformations, our highly adaptable team supports all aspects of business change, including strategy development, digital and data driven process and service improvement, program execution management and the establishment of an enabling culture.

Our services www.avenai.com

Contact us


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When it comes to its own IT strategy,

needs met within the first MVP. Before,

Liscio explains that WSIB adopts an

that would have taken us more than

agile approach for rapid innovation

a year to develop a solution, by gather-

which encompases three key areas

ing requirements, working on those,

working together to develop a minimum

developing, testing, and then putting

viable product (MVP). “These key areas

into production. With our new approach

include service design with a human

we have been able to bring projects

centered design approach, followed

live within three months of starting an

by product owners identifying friction

MVP which immediately addresses the

points. Finally the DevsOp group takes

key customer pain points, and provides

a scrum based approach to developing

a base for opportunities to build addi-

MVPs to target customer pain points.

tional functionality incrementally. This

With this ‘digital factory’ approach you

approach has become our foundation

can get about 80% of those immediate

for the future.” w w w.w s ib . c a


“There are so many opportunities for IoT in the worker’s compensation space, especially as it relates to health and safety” — Samantha Liscio, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Many of WSIB’s new digital products are the outcome of this approach, which it has engaged with key partners for its agile-based solution development. “Within the last few months, partners such as Wipro and others have helped us develop a new service that provides secure digital access to claims information for injured workers. TCS – Tata consulting services – is our strategic partner and have been instrumental in transforming our end-to-end quality assurance process with industry best practices and innovations in the area of Automation, AI, Cloud Testing and Test Data Management,

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E :

Samantha Liscio As Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Samantha leads digital transformation, leveraging technology to streamline processes and modernize the business, helping the WSIB provide responsive services to customers. Samantha drives IT service excellence and directs innovation while ensuring value from technology investments. Samantha has over 20 years of experience in IT leadership roles in eHealth Ontario, Accenture, and the Ontario Public Service. Currently Samantha serves on the Ryerson University IT Business Management Program Advisory Council and the Toronto CIO Governing Body. She is a past board chair for Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention and a past board member of the CIO Association of Canada and the Institute for Citizen-Centred Services. Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a PhD from Queen’s University in Belfast. w w w.w s ib . c a

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WSIB

which has meant that we’ve eliminated 95% of the defects from our projects by implementing the optimized approach and methodology that TCS has helped us with. In addition to this we are also looking into opportunities to harness RPA, within our operations which is also something that we are working on with TCS.” As part of the company’s digital strategy to drive digitalisation in the heart of its operations, Liscio details the company’s adoption of cloud, internet 16

of things (IoT) and AI-enabled analytics.

CLOUD “For the WSIB, cloud is an opportunity to significantly accelerate the delivery of value, both to our internal business and to our end customers. From an IT perspective, cloud deployments can help to reduce risk. It’s complicated and expensive to host, deploy and maintain software that’s at the core of your business, and so increasingly big vendors offer those types of services better than we can ourselves. They can help us to use cloud native capabilities and drive innovations. WSIB’s cloud strategy focuses on the implementation J U LY 2 0 2 0


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How CGI helped WSIB transition to a fully remote workforce When Ontario Public Health declared a ‘Work From Home’ policy due to COVID-19, the WSIB, like many organizations, faced an unprecedented challenge: How to quickly transition to a fully remote workforce while maintaining service levels for employers, and payment continuity for injured workers.

WSIB and CGI mobilized and united the resources necessary, including senior management, technology, and expert personnel. With highly collaborative and creative thinking, WSIB and CGI were able to overcome conventional limitations and transition 4,300 WSIB workers and their IT devices into a remote workforce. Careful planning and crisis management from the deployed CGI service teams paid off when each team readily handled the spike in call volumes and increased handling times as WSIB workers moved home. It was imperative that WSIB data remained secure outside the traditional working environment, and that end users experienced no service degradation despite the increased load on technological infrastructure.

Together, WSIB and CGI rapidly implemented a range of risk management approaches to preserve the customer experience of the WSIB workforce. This included digitizing document handling, remote desktop re-configuration, creating a new toll-free helpline, and redeploying a number of support teams. WSIB and CGI were subsequently able to guide WSIB workers through the challenges of setting up their workstations from home while in parallel CGI quickly configured and issued over a 1,500 new laptops. In just over 3 weeks, WSIB and CGI demonstrated resiliency in crisis by transitioning all WSIB workers to remote work arrangements while maintaining critical service levels and uninterrupted payments to injured workers.

CGI’s exceptional support enabled the WSIB to maintain critical services to injured people from distributed locations while transitioning from a traditional bricks and mortar operation to facilitating employees working from home. I look forward to continuing this partnership and working collaboratively together. – Samantha Liscio, WSIB Chief Technology & Innovation Officer

ABOUT CGI

Founded in 1976, CGI is among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world. Operating across the globe, CGI delivers end-to-end capabilities, from strategic IT and business consulting to systems integration, managed IT and business process services and intellectual property solutions, helping clients achieve their goals, including becoming customer-centric digital enterprises.

WSIB engaged CGI to support their transition to the new working reality by providing tailored end user computing and service desk solutions.


of a hybrid cloud service model using

We’ve been thinking very carefully

both public and private cloud, with

about what our infrastructure needs

partners such as Microsoft Azure and

to look like when it comes to the cloud

IBM. As a result we have a specific

and we are now underway with our

software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution

key partners.”

approach that’s aligned to our application strategy. We also have database

INTERNET OF THINGS (IOT)

and integration-as-a-service offerings

“With the internet of things (IoT), it’s

and we are introducing other platform-

an interesting point on our innovation

as-a-service capabilities and providing

radar right now. There are so many

Windows and Linux virtual machines as

opportunities for IoT in the worker’s

an infrastructure-as-a-service offering.

compensation space, especially as

This is all underpinned by a restructured

it relates to health and safety. So our

network architecture and cloud man-

innovation lab is exploring things like

agement platform.

connected devices that can detect

“When the emergency was declared in Ontario in the middle of March, the WSIB saw its remote workforce increase from about 2% to more than 99% of the workforce in the space of about 10 days” — Samantha Liscio, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

fatigue. Devices that can be connected to the wearer or the dashboard of a truck — or both – that can detect if they’re falling asleep and can alert them. We’re also looking at things like proper posture and biomechanics which are especially important in the construction industry where people are lifting and bending and moving. Having those kinds of devices that can be connected to people or the surroundings to provide real-time feedback rather than corrective action after, this is something really interesting that we are working on in the lab relating to IoT.” w w w.w s ib . c a

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WSIB

AI ENABLED ANALYTICS “On the analytics side, being an insurance organisation, WSIB relies on predictive analytics for things like risk scoring, case based reserving, claims segmentation models, anomaly detection and text mining. As a result, business intelligence and analytics is a key pillar for our IT strategy and we’re investing in the capabilities, the tools and the backend infrastructure to be able to make decisions better and faster. Currently we extricate data from various data marts to create diagnostic 20

and predictive models. We’re in the progress of creating a central data store and intend to leverage in-database analytics that will allow us to execute extensive analytical workloads directly against our data. That’s going to be really important to us in increasing our decision making speed.”

CYBERSECURITY While innovations are revolutionising the insurance industry, it is important to remember that progress comes with challenges, in particular cybersecurity. “At WSIB we operate a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year security operation center,” J U LY 2 0 2 0

“Longstanding business models however, do need to change to be flexible and adaptable if they are to continue to meet customer expectations” — Samantha Liscio, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)


incidents. So in total that 85 billion was whittled down to roughly 150 incidents requiring action.” In order to combat these potential threats, WSIB has a cybersecurity strategy and strong governance in place. “We’ve assessed our main maturity across security and we’ve taken an inventory of all of our critical data and assets, so we know where our crown jewels are and how those are protected and we’ve applied the appropriate controls to those protections. We also conduct regular testing via the likes of audits and penetration testing, as well as monthly vulnerability assessments.” In addition to harnessing technology to maintain security, WSIB comments Liscio. “We keep track of

has also established a breach response,

all of the security records we receive,

as well as awareness and training

these are essentially all of the potential

programs in place, cyber security intel-

hits on our perimeter from a security

ligence and cyber security insurance.”

perspective, and between January and September last year we had more than

THE IMPACT OF COVID-19

85 billion security records. Of those 85

“When the emergency was declared

billion we sent 19 billion to our security

in Ontario in the middle of March,

information event monitoring system

the WSIB saw its remote workforce

for a second look to determine if they

increase from about 2% to more than

are events that need to be monitored,

99% of the workforce in the space

events that are relevant, events that are

of a few weeks. With that sudden shift

possible threats or events that become

to over 4,000 employees working w w w.w s ib . c a

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from home, a host of issues can arise,

corporate collaboration tools such as

from inadequate video conferencing

Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Teams

capabilities due to connectivity at

and OneDrive, as well as encrypting all

the employee’s homes or additional

hard drives so that we could protect

challenges in maintaining security

and manage data remotely.”

of confidential information outside the

In addition to these changes, Liscio

office. But we’ve been able to effectively

explains that provisions have also

direct the company on how best to

been made for specific job functions

work remotely using our virtual private

such as call centers. “You can imagine

network which is robust and secure.

that within a large company like WSIB

We also have multi factor authentica-

there is a large call center and our

tion to ensure secure logins so that

service reps need to be able to answer

those working from home can con-

the phone. So even though they’re at

nect to the WSIB systems and our

home, they still need to be in that call

Your next clearance will be simple CLICK TO WATCH

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WSIB

center environment. To achieve this we turned the WSIB computers into soft phones, rolling out on-screen dial pads to place and control calls from the desktop. In addition we have deployed more than 400 mobile devices in a couple of weeks since the state of emergency, so that end users working from home could maintain critical business services.” Without the support of its partners, Liscio emphasises, “would not have been able to get more than 4,000 peo24

ple productively working from home within a few weeks without the support of our partners, especially CGI and RCI Rogers who helped us expedite equipment provisioning across their supply

standard technology, providing that

chain and provide after-hours support

kind of flexibility for mobile work. We

for our IT and front-line staff.”

are also quickly digitising hard copy

While this has been a huge change

mail and things like access requests.

for WSIB, Liscio explains that now

When our customers ask for access

they are effectively and productively

to their file, we would typically go find

work from home, “the new normal

all of the paper, scan all of that paper

for us will be one where we probably

and then send them boxes of paper.

won’t be returning to our offices in

With digitised access requests we can

the same way as we worked before

share that information back with them

and things like phones and desktop

through encrypted email, making the

computers will be retired and lap-

need to do these kinds of paper-based

tops and cell phones will be the new

processes again obsolete. In addition

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1914

Year founded

$2,165mn

Total comprehensive income in US dollars (2018)

5,000

Approximate number of employees

we are pivoting to accelerate the deliv-

changes, premium deferrals, lower

ery of online services for people with

interest rates, volatile investments.

claims, as well as identify additional

Guided by our digital strategy, the

rapid-fire digital transformations and

WSIB will respond by: Creating new

we have adopted an electronic sig-

digital channels and digitizing our core

nature solution to ensure we can still

services, fully implementing a sustain-

procure, approve and authorise things

able IT operating model to support

in a virtual way.

the new digital WSIB and continuing

“Looking ahead, I see the key driv-

to support remote and flexible work.�

ers for change in the InsurTech sector and for the WSIB being very similar. Post COVID-19 there will be changes in the workforce resulting in revenue w w w.w s ib . c a

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WORKPLACE SAFETY AND INSURANCE BOARD (WSIB) 200 FRONT STREET, WEST, TORONTO, ONTARIO T 416-34 4-1000

media@wsib.on.ca

P0WERED BY

Profile for Business Chief USA

WSIB - July 2020  

WSIB - July 2020  

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