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The insurance industry is populated by large, stable, long-established companies that operate in a highly-regulated environment. It’s an industry that’s been described as both essential to business as well as risk-averse to the adoption of new technology. Despite the latter, insurers are now at an inflection point with respect to transformative technologies. This readiness for change is being driven by policy-holder demand (you and me) as well as by start-ups in the emerging insurtech field that either work with established insurance providers or on their own to fill gaps and/or seize opportunities.
What’s driving the change in the industry?
Much of the new, developing focus is on offering technology-based solutions that enable customers to buy policies directly, online, specifically tailored to their needs and risks and not to that of their demographic, and which are priced according to their observed behavior: think artificial intelligence, automation, etc. What’s enabling this industry shift? Relevant-for-insurance personal data, streaming in from different sources and devices plays a big part.
Feeling the winds of change, insurance industry analysts repeatedly advise insurers to now prioritize customer personalization, customer experience and to make all of a policy holder’s records accessible from a single point. Definitely sound and logical advice in light of the customer-driven solutions that are the imperative of new development. And, considering that it’s already easier than ever for customers to initiate and sever relationships with insurance providers, this should provide additional incentive for insurers to make the customer experience as smooth and responsive as possible, and available from anywhere at any time.
IT resilience assurance supports the customer experience
With the emphasis on customer-centric solutions enabled by big data that relies on the kind of heavy, yet relatively inexpensive computing available on the cloud, it’s inevitable that insurers, like other large enterprises before them, will move some of their business processes there. (Insurtechs and some insurers are already there.) But where a company’s core IT assets are located or where they move is irrelevant to the fact that one element should always play a fundamental role – and that is the resilience of the IT environment.
An IT environment, truly the brain and heart of any company, should be able to provide uninterrupted service to its users: customers and employees. It’s obvious that even the best customer-facing solutions won’t make an impact if systems go down or if, following an outage caused by an external natural or man-made event, customer data isn’t accessible or recoverable.
Referring back to the inflection point mentioned earlier, insurers that are now in the process of making decisions about their IT environments in light of how the industry is evolving, should make a robust and resilient IT environment an objective that’s equal in importance to the customer experience. And, actually, resilience is a pre-requisite. It’s essential to achieving any of the goals companies have when adopting new technologies to bring services and new offerings in line with client demands.