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Inflection Point 2019: 8 Tech Essentials Digital Insurers Can’t Do Without (Part 2)

by Brad Worth, EIS Group

You won’t want to miss any of the action in 2019.  In part 1 of this blog, I proposed that 2019 is the inflection point where many insurers make the fundamental technology pivot toward supporting new platform-based business models. Expect to see signs of future digital insurance leadership in the market.

I covered the first four of the following eight tech essentials for market leadership in the first blog, and today we will hit on the final four.

  1. Connect to new ecosystems.
  2. Enable designing and delivering exceptional digital experiences.
  3. Accelerate time to value.
  4. Design for the cloud (think cloud-native!).
  5. Unify operations and analytics to power real-time user experiences.
  6. Increase agility and scalability with infrastructure as code.
  7. Meet security and business continuity requirements.
  8. Optimize the new world of data analytics and AI.

Revisit the first four topics in part 1, and read on for the remainder.

5. Unify operations and analytics to power real-time user experiences.

Despite all the talk about real-time user engagement, most insurers lack the unified core, digital and data platform required to make it happen. In other words, as long as operational and analytics footprints remain separate, whether they’re on-premise or cloud-enabled, the consequence is data processing lags that make real-time analytics, and the resulting real-time experiences, impossible.

A digital insurance platform based on a cloud native architecture – a fundamentally more advanced option than cloud-enabled solutions – removes bottlenecks by leveraging the cloud’s inherent connectivity and performance to produce real-time experiences at scale. Regardless of the size of data sets or the number of data pools, whether internal or external, such platforms also leverage AI and machine learning for real-time digital experience delivery.

Moving from separate operations and analytics platforms to a unified platform supports real-time user experiences.

Moving from separate operations and analytics platforms to a unified platform supports real-time user experiences.

 

6. Increase agility and scalability with infrastructure as code.

Rather than waiting several months for your procurement function to acquire all of the infrastructure components you need for a new initiative, and then several more weeks for your teams to assemble it, the latest cloud and cloud services stand up new development, test and deploy environments in time measured in minutes and hours. Further, it’s done with robust tooling and automation, which eliminates manual effort.

As a result, your IT staff morphs from so-so infrastructure builders into skilled configuration managers. This enables your highly-trained human capital to make valuable business-oriented contributions, such as taking advantage of data innovations, setting up new business rules, developing new products or launching new channels for rapidly addressing emerging user experience demands.

7. Meet security and business continuity requirements.

As security threats become increasingly sophisticated and data privacy regulations more stringent, most insurers are forced to address the added burdens by shifting resources toward security responses and away from developing exceptional digital experiences.

Modern cloud providers upend this paradigm by embedding, and constantly enhancing, security and continuity capabilities within the environment itself. What’s more, when your cloud partner makes an enhancement for one customer, you immediately receive the benefit as well. Gone are the days of evaluating, adopting, maintaining, updating and upgrading multiple security and continuity solutions.

8. Optimize the new world of data analytics and AI.

Until now, insurers approached analytics from the premise they knew which metrics they needed and then could set up structured processes to collect and measure them.

Moving forward, business success will depend on the opposite. High-performance cloud-native platforms will blend your historical structured data with your (typically under-utilized) unstructured information, plus vast quantities and varieties of external data – including the signals from customers we discussed at the beginning of this blog – and then leverage AI-enabled analytics to show you what metrics are worth measuring.

 

Brad Worth is VP, Sales Consulting Practice at EIS Group. Part 1 of this blog was published Jan. 24, 2019. To learn more, download “Eight ways to power your digital transformation with a next-generation insurance platform in the cloud.”