Don’t Get Caught Up in the Buzzwords

In other words, don't "invest in a modern data integration platform that transforms processes and enhances the company’s solution stack."

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Someone entering the industry in a first job capacity could easily be overwhelmed by the “alphabet soup” that is the jargon of insurance. Seriously, what does it mean for a business to “invest in a modern data integration platform that transforms processes and enhances the company’s solution stack”? 

Buzzwords and abbreviations aside, the baseline translation must have real, tangible value. In this instance, the meaning behind the buzzwords is about investing in a solution that speeds digital transformation by operationalizing big data and automating processes for a competitive edge. 

So, yes, even the explanation can sound like a collection of acronyms and abbreviations that explain very little. And insurance companies, agents, brokers, managing general agencies (MGAs), service providers, vendor partners and policyholders alike must be able to make sense of the most commonly used buzzwords and provide a translation that will help even a novice navigate the data integration space. 

Here are some translations:

01: Distributed Cloud

Having come into vogue several years ago, “distributed cloud” is still trending today. This term defines the ability of applications, programs and devices to extract information from images and allows for the organization to unpack and analyze huge quantities of data at speed. It means users get more visibility into data, faster, and the information is both relevant and dynamic. Distributed cloud allows for the deployment of solutions in a variety of environments including private cloud, public cloud or a combination of environments. An investment in distributed cloud can help speed innovation by making data accessible to the right people in the right place at the right time.  

See also: 10 Innovations Transforming Claims

02: API Management

Another term that is dominating headlines and conversations is API (Application Programming Interfaces) Management. It’s a term that has not really come with a detailed explanation as to what it is, how it works or why it’s important. To understand this term, it is important to first understand what an API is. Simply put, APIs are the software translators that ensure two applications can talk to one another seamlessly. Data integration hubs that offer API management capabilities are designed to assist in creating, publishing, documenting and analyzing APIs in a secure environment. Today, APIs are everywhere, in every device, platform, service and solution. This prevalence alone makes API management absolutely critical for insurance organizations. 

Using a data integration hub for API management allows for the connection of multiple moving pieces within a business and ensures that every touch point is managed properly and seamlessly. This can be anything from authentication to logging on to authorization to monitoring alerts and beyond. Working with a hub that’s designed to handle specific, unique requirements will ensure rapid issue resolution and manage systems far more efficiently. 

03: Data Automation and Modernization

Business processes are complicated and often manual due to an underlying technology landscape that is not connected, constantly changing and increasingly complex. Automation is the process of unlocking data to create business processes that optimize workflows. Automation is not the final fix of all things broken in a business. Automating bad processes enables organizations to do things poorly, only quicker, which is not exactly a recipe for success. This is why the terms “automation” and “modernization” must work hand in hand. 

Modernization is, quintessentially, moving siloed data from legacy databases to modern cloud-based databases or data lakes. Data modernization allows organizations to be agile, eliminating inefficiencies, bottlenecks and unnecessary data complexities, making business processes easier to improve and automate. As a result, the business can innovate faster, improve customer satisfaction and transform into an analytics- and data-driven organization. 

04: Big Data

A few years ago, big data took the buzzword world by storm, and it is not going anywhere, any time soon. Put simply, big data is larger, more complex data sets, usually from new data sources. This type of data is so voluminous that traditional data processing software is unable to manage it. It’s also complicated and comes with its own fair share of pitfalls and problems. Big data can get old, it can stagnate, it can take up essential space on systems and cost unnecessary money. The right hybrid data integration platform will allow you to gain valuable insights from big data that can be used to address business problems the business wouldn’t have been able to tackle without it.  

See also: Achieving Effective Claims Payments

A True Solution With Tangible Value

A data integration hub fills the data-related needs of insurance organizations, even those fighting to get value from buzzwords. What sets a data integration hub apart from a traditional integration platform is that it provides a variety of data structures, sources and strategies businesses need to manage all data access, movement and storage issues, all in a single unified platform. A hub can drastically reduce the amount of time a development team spends on trying to get a solution stack to integrate successfully. It also offers pre-defined connectors that allow for the quick configuration of integration points instead of complex coding, which frees time to focus on more important work. 

Don’t get too caught up in the acronyms and buzzwords. While it is easy to move from shiny object to shiny object based on what’s hot at any given moment, a technology solution must have tangible value to deliver to an insurance organization to be truly effective. 

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