A common theme of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the world will forever look quite different than it did before the crisis began. 

Well, we got one of our first concrete example of what this could mean when Nationwide recently announced they were permanently shifting about 4,000 employees, or 14% of its 28,000 workforce, to remote working conditions. Nationwide will keep offices in its 4 major campus locations, but will transition most offices outside of those to work-from-home.

How was Nationwide able to move so quickly in instituting such a major change in its organization? One answer may lie in its approach to technology. Jim Fowler, Nationwide's Chief Information Officer, said in an interview with CIO in August 2019 that the company had spent "over $1 billion" over the last 5 years to completely revamp its technology infrastructure across policy administration, underwriting, and distribution. Nationwide likely did not plan to move thousands of employees from offices to homes, but their technology-enabled tools and processes were undoubtedly instrumental in enabling them to do so. It will be interesting to see whether other carriers follow suit.