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updated: 9/20/2012 12:24 PM

Allstate named a top innovative user of IT

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Northbrook-based Allstate Insurance was named to the InformationWeek 500 list as one of the 20 most innovative users of information technology in the nation after describing to editors how "Innovation Blitzes" are helping the company generate thousands of new ideas that can make it easier, faster and more convenient for customers to do business with the company.

The annual list of the 500 most innovative users of business technology, on which Allstate was ranked 11th, was revealed at a gala awards ceremony at the exclusive InformationWeek 500 Conference, which took place at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, CA.

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"As a technology organization, we have a unique opportunity to bring Allstate closer to our customers," said Suren Gupta, executive vice president of Allstate Technology & Operations. "The deeper technology becomes ingrained in our day-to-day lives, the more significant the opportunity we have as technologists to leverage this connection in meaningful ways."

Over the past year, Allstate hosted more than 30 Innovation Blitzes, open events using crowdsourcing to solve specific business problems. Applying game mechanics to innovation drew an enthusiastic response from a broad base of employees and enabled the best ideas to surface. Ideas were captured, evaluated and managed via an enterprise idea management tool. In 2011, blitzes generated more than 4,000 unique ideas.

"Innovation can come from many places, which is why we had more than 20,000 employees participate in our 2011 innovation blitzes," Gupta said. "The blitzes enable Allstate to harness the creativity, passion and energy of our employees while increasing employee engagement. The end results are innovative new business and technology solutions."

InformationWeek identifies and honors the nation's most innovative users of information technology with its annual 500 listing, and also tracks the technology, strategies, investments, and administrative practices of America's best-known companies. Past overall winners include PACCAR Inc., The Vanguard Group, CME Group, National Semiconductor, Con-Way, and Principal Financial Group. The InformationWeek 500 rankings are unique among corporate rankings as it spotlights the power of innovation in information technology, rather than simply identifying the biggest IT spenders.

"The InformationWeek 500 has recognized the most innovative users of business technology for 24 years, and this year's innovations were particularly impressive," said InformationWeek Editor In Chief Rob Preston. "What the editors looked for are unconventional approaches-new technologies, new models, new ways of grabbing business opportunities and solving complex business problems with IT."

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