Connect with us
Our website publishes news, press releases, opinion and advertorials on various financial organizations, products and services which are commissioned from various Companies, Organizations, PR agencies, Bloggers etc. These commissioned articles are commercial in nature. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. It does not reflect the views or opinion of our website and is not to be considered an endorsement or a recommendation. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third-party websites, affiliate sales networks, and to our advertising partners websites. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish advertised or sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a commercial article placement. We will not be responsible for any loss you may suffer as a result of any omission or inaccuracy on the website.

Top Stories

Operationalise Innovation – How Insurers Can Outsmart the Disruptors

Operationalise Innovation – How Insurers Can Outsmart the Disruptors

By Garry Larner, Regional Director for Financial Services UK&I, OutSystems

For a long time, big insurers held all the aces. Decades of brand history, the protective effect of stringent regulation and large balance sheets kept competition at bay. This is now rapidly changing. The new players on the block hold the cards of agility, innovation and freedom from the millstone of legacy technology. They can use AI, cloud and IoT technology to meet escalating customer demand for highly personalised, seamless mobile digital services.

The declining loyalty of increasingly ‘switchy’ customers has fundamentally changed the game. In order to remain at the table, long-established insurers need to rediscover their innovation mojo.

Three steps to future relevance

Insurance companies have three big challenges on their plate right now and they touch every part of the organisation from IT systems, to management, to organisational culture.

First, they need to improve profitability by bringing down their cost base, becoming leaner and more efficient. Second, they need to expand their ecosystem, bringing in as much business as possible while competing strongly with newcomers to the space. Third, they need to innovate and bring new products and customer experiences to market much faster. Ultimately, customer experience is the battleground where the competition will be won or lost.

It’s therefore vital that insurers achieve steps one and two as quickly as possible, so they can put energy into the third stage, which is where the future of the business will be determined. Digitisation is the accepted route, but here legacy technology rears its head.

CIOs of large insurers face a conundrum. To deliver the transformational change that’s needed at the speed required, should they rip out and replace the existing IT systems? Tempting though it is to start with a clean slate, it’s a big and expensive risk that will need time that’s not available. The alternative is to work with and extend what they’ve got, with all the historical integration challenges that entails.

The key to resolving this tension is to recognise the vital role that innovation needs to play in all three steps described above and operationalise it.

Operationalise innovation

Historically, bringing a new insurance product to market took months or even years. Today we simply don’t have that kind of timescale. A product that takes too long to build risks being obsolete before it ever sees the light of day. That’s why it’s not just important that we innovate, it’s vital that we operationalise it throughout the organisation, delivering frequent, innovation-led outcomes.

To effectively operationalise innovation requires cross-functional collaboration and a rediscovered pioneering mindset. Think of it this way: An app is like aHufhaus – one that can be built in just 3 days – yet today, building that house requires planning permission, which is a lengthy process. The house-building process has been disrupted, but the ecosystem around it is out of date. It involves town planning and management. Most companies have now become process-driven town planners, but in order to get new houses (apps) built at the speed required, they need to re-engineer the ecosystem.

By adopting agile development practices, insurer’s can dramatically shorten time to market. Instead of lengthy analysis of requirements and hand-off to IT, business stakeholders and IT need to collaborate and innovate at speed.

This is where low-code rapid application development comes into its own. The fast, visual, drag and drop approach is up to ten times faster than traditional coding. This faster pace allows business representatives and developers to work side by side. Rapid prototyping, and regular demonstrations ensure that development stays on track, typically delivering new web or mobile applications in days or weeks, instead of month or years.

Faster low-code development enables a cultural shift, that breaks down silos, and turns IT into a collaborative innovation enabler, instead of an order taker.

The great thing is that nothing is off the table. By deploying a low-code platform insurers still have access to all the power, stability and big data capability of legacy systems, but gain the ability to wrap the most advanced customer experiences around them. It’s less risky and costly than replacing legacy systems and it gets products to market faster.

At OutSystems we’ve already seen this approach pay dividends for numerous insurers. Take Portuguese insurer Liberty Seguros for example. This was a company experiencing all the challenges of disruption – products weren’t getting to market fast enough, there was a two-year IT backlog and customer demands were ever-increasing. Serving a shrinking market of small independent brokers, Liberty knew that to survive it needed to become the easiest, most efficient company for brokers and policyholders to deal with.

It made the bold move to deploy a low-code platform back in 2004 and built their first app to help customers with medical insurance claims, effectively raising the standard for post-accident medical care for policyholders.

From those early days, the company has developed 83 web and mobile applications and seen policy growth of 274%, in a static market. By fully operationalising innovation, Liberty Seguros has significantly grown market share, improved customer and broker experience, and saved millions of Euros by retiring old and inflexible IT systems.

Therefore, if you want to escape legacy debt, and get to market sooner with new products and associated web and mobile solutions, the right low-code platform will give your innovation the boost you need, to delight your customers and outsmart the competition.

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2022
2023 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate


Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now