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Strategy and Measurement are Keys to Navigating the New Insurance Normal

Opening the ACORD Implementation Forum in Fort Lauderdale this week, a panel of senior insurance technology executives, moderated by Celent’s Donald Light, reviewed the ‘New Normal’ for insurance organizations and agreed that the future needs to be navigated carefully, guided by increasingly precise measurement of actions and impacts.

Light, in his opening comments, said that continued volatility for insurers through 2020 was a highly likely scenario. Success in this environment could be realized through strategic growth or shrinkage, but was contingent on “getting smarter” through the use of sophisticated analytics. A second key element was strengthening risk management at the enterprise level.

John DiBuduo of Partner Reinsurance reinforced the need for proper underwriting and risk management at the front end, measuring the impact of each risk on the complete portfolio. This is a major shift for many reinsurance organizations which normally rely on their primary insurer customers to perform this function.

MetLife’s Joan Falcetta indicated that her IT organization was focusing significant effort on strategic consolidation of IT services, guided by carefully selected metrics aligned with corporate objectives. This provided focus for governance on a small number of projects that were transformational in nature. Falcetta summarized her view of the required strategy for the New Normal as “Continuous Improvement to maximize effectiveness.”

Tim Conway of The Hartford concurred with the need to rationalize projects and added that the organization’s objective of growth could be achieved, but only through the application of business intelligence at the operational and strategic levels.

All panel participants concurred that use of ACORD standards was critical not simply to reduce friction costs, but to ensure the timely availability of data at fine levels of granularity.

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