What Good Looks Like – Five Technology Tenets

Bart Patrick, Managing Director of Duck Creek Technologies Europe, with five points to get your insurance technology going swimmingly.

What goes on beneath the surface? This is is a central question insurers ask themselves when weighing their next moves – whether it’s integrating following an acquisition, a new technology initiative, or launching a new line of business. How will it work? What does good look like?

Benefiting from fresh insights from Duck Creek’s recent benchmark Formation ’19 event in Miami, Florida, which featured high profile speakers from across the insurance and technology sectors, here are my five top tenets for “what good looks like” for successful technology within your business.

  1. Stay open

A lot is said about being future-ready, but what does this mean in practical terms? Simply put, systems must not be closed boxes, which are vulnerable to becoming out of date and out of maintenance.  

A “good” system is one that that can always hook into new things and can interoperate with other technology. Cloud architecture is a perfect example of this. A leading system should also take advantage of the latest developments in many technologies that can help throughout the business.

For example, Duck Creek Technologies plugs into FRISS for anti-fraud and UrbanStat for data and analytics. We also save our customers’ costs by dipping into such capabilities across partners, across borders.

  1. Customer centricity

If your system isn’t designed around the need to get your products in front of customers quickly, and in the ways that customers want to consume those products, then quite simply you’ve got the wrong system. Too many insurers and vendors make the mistake of putting the cart in front of the horse.

Customers are using our system across multiple distribution channels from the web, to brokers, to branches. We help to deliver this through a common system of engagement, creating a single view of the insured and keeping everything synchronised, from the back office right through to managing the customer experience.

  1. Test and learn

It’s important to test and operate a new product without betting the future health of the business. That whole process can take 18 months for some insurers; we’ve cut it to a matter of weeks.

Insurance businesses need to operate in a low-code environment, build quickly, and focus on their objectives and what they do best, rather than spending time tackling the limitations of their technology.

Some of the biggest IT problems of traditional software come from the cost of upgrades, bug fixes, and simply being obsolete when the next best thing comes along. On-demand software-as-a-service enjoys constant improvement and unlimited horizons. Your insurance technology provider should worry about upgrading features so you don’t have to.

  1. Your peers in IT

Technology and business are getting closer and closer to becoming symbiotic. We’ve gone from operations-based businesses, to IT-supported, to full-blown insurance platforms, inseparable from the technology that powers them.

So, that means it’s time to regard IT as a peer and a KPI for the business. The more that technology and business act in harmony, the greater the ability of the organisation to dynamically evolve and grow.

  1. Data assets

Data should be a strategic asset within any insurance business. This means using a mix of your own internal data and external sources to inform about any given customer.

You need to know as much as possible about a prospective customer to quote them the right price, to cross-sell the right products and services, and to simplify customer relationships. If your insurance technology partner is not helping create an environment like this, they are the wrong partner.

Finally, think globally and efficiently – turning regional successes into global transformation should not take decades.

We’ve all seen ducks smoothly gliding across the surface of a lake – seemingly frictionless, yet the real hard work is happening under water. In the same way, you want the insurance face of the business making smooth and seamless headway, while the insurance technology is paddling powerfully below the surface.

Got a few minutes to spare? Check out my latest video blog –  VLOG: attitudes to on-demand