ACORD Releases Update to Reference Architecture

The standards organization has released an update to the Capability Model and the Business Glossary facets of the ACORD Reference Architecture.

(Image source: ACORD.)

ACORD (New York), the global insurance technology standards organization, has released an update to the Capability Model and the Business Glossary facets of the ACORD Reference Architecture.

The Capability Model provides a blueprint of all business capabilities that are used by an insurance company, covering all business functions. It includes ten high-level business capabilities, which are then broken into three additional levels, logically grouped into different tiers to enable strategy, planning, execution, and analysis. It is a representation of an organization’s business model, independent of the organization’s structure, processes, people, or domains.

ACORD describes the Capability Model as enabling architects, analysts, and managers to look at the enterprise through the lens of business capabilities to see what it does, rather than seeing how it is done in a particular organizational structure or business process. IT can look at the Capability Model through the lens of application portfolios to analyze which applications are related to which business capabilities.

This release has updates to the various levels of the capabilities and diagrams. Highlights of the release focus on the enhancements to the following top-level capabilities:

Business Management: A core functional area in the business management capability is strategic and enterprise planning, which covers a strategic plan or roadmap on how to grow the business. The objective of strategic and enterprise planning is to define the strategic business plan, an enterprise architecture, and a merger and acquisitions plan to ensure the company is on the right trajectory to achieve its goals. In this release, we are extending the concept to cover these processes.

Enterprise Services: The enterprise services capabilities of the model are used to unify and align across all departments including legal, HR, IT, operations, real estate. In this release, we have extended the human resources management capabilities by adding time and attendance sub-capabilities.

Sales: This contains the capabilities of selling a financial services product or service. These capabilities are used throughout sales execution in the model. To illustrate the concept of sales execution capabilities, we segmented functions into financial services agreement acquisition, financial services agreement assessment underwriting, and financial services agreement quotation.

The Business Glossary is a dictionary of terms that consists of insurance concepts and includes definitions, usages, and references. This release of the Business Glossary includes business terms that are important in the Capability Model, bringing the total number of terms defined up to 6,228.

To download the current release, or for more information about the ACORD Reference Architecture, ACORD encourages readers to visit

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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