Tag Archives: cloud

Cloud Takes a Starring Role

Eight years ago, I was giving a talk on cloud at a conference. The first thing I had to do was explain what the cloud is. It’s a new world, isn’t it? Cloud is no longer for the digital giants, the insurtechs and the early adopters. Today, it would be difficult to go through a whole day without using cloud computing.

Insurers’ core systems (policy, billing, and claims) are no exception. Cloud-hosted core systems are no longer a niche item: 59% of the new P&C core systems that insurers purchased in 2017 will be deployed in the cloud. On-premise deployment is by no means obsolete, but more and more it will be only a fraction of insurers’ technical environments.

Increased speed to market, fast implementations, seamless scalability, easy access to new technologies, robust safety standards and, in some cases, streamlined software upgrades have all attracted insurers to core in the cloud. What comes next, however, is where the real opportunity lies.

The digital world is all about making connections – between people, technologies, services, data and data sources, etc. – and doing so at top speed. Whether your core systems are in the cloud, hosted by a solution provider or run from your own server room, you have to be able to call out to external services for data and transactions.

New computing trends are pushing the abilities of core systems even further. Cutting-edge artificial intelligence services (think “rent-an-AI”) are only available through the cloud. For example, if you wanted to incorporate advanced natural language processing into your core systems, you would not simply install IBM Watson on your existing servers. Microservices, which are isolated processes that can be plugged into an existing technical architecture, fulfill their true potential by calling out to advanced, external services like blockchain and IoT data platforms.

Then there are the possibilities offered by computing in the cloud. Serverless computing allows insurers to leave all server management and resource provisioning to the cloud provider for increased processing power, decreased latency and real-sized costs. It represents an evolution in the way that we consume and use cloud. For insurers looking at huge new sources of data, like wearable devices, serverless computing is a must.

These are the real benefits of cloud computing. Core systems in the cloud can take advantage of some of these new computing trends more easily, but all have an opportunity to leverage the cloud to advance their technological capabilities.

The insurance industry is poised to use cloud in a whole new way by streamlining processes and upgrades, connecting to advanced technology and consuming more data. The more benefits that insurers reap from cloud computing, the more cloud computing will become table stakes.

To learn more about the latest computing trends and how they will affect insurers’ core systems, please see our recent report, The New World of Core Systems: How New Computing Trends Will Transform the Core Systems Paradigm.

Digital Playbooks for Insurers (Part 4)

A playbook is better than a simple plan. A plan is a road map to a desired future based on current conditions and the steps needed to go from the current state to a future state. A playbook acknowledges that there are many possible futures and that businesses need to be built in a way that will adapt and thrive in any of them.

In our past three blogs (here, here and here), we’ve discussed the concept of digital playbooks. Using a variety of digital “plays,” insurers can customize their playbooks in an effort to meet future demands and opportunities with flexibility. Using both the consumer market and the SMB market as examples, we created a pregame analysis. In this blog, as we look closely at small to medium businesses, we’ll consider how the scouting report can help us build Ideal Offerings, plays that are likely to help insurers bring digital capabilities to a ready market.

New SMB Behaviors and Expectations

Business is changing so rapidly that it is difficult for insurers to keep up. Aside from technology changes and generational expectations, the sheer numbers and types of businesses grow daily. The vast majority of new businesses are within the small-to-medium business space — and owners determine or greatly influence purchase decisions.

For that reason, Majesco’s latest SMB research accounted not only for technology needs and trends within businesses, but it also accounted for generational differences in the ownership that controls insurance decisions. We found that when it comes to experience with new technologies and trends, there is a clear, strong interaction between business owner age (generation) and the size of the company (number of employees).

See also: Digital Playbooks for Insurers (Part 1)  

The results of this research can be viewed in our thought-leadership reportInsights for Growth Strategies: The New SMB Insurance Customer. A quick synopsis of the areas of digital impact include:

  • Gig economy shift: Across all generational distinctions, there is growth in independent contractor/freelance services.
  • Apps/Connected Devices: There is strong commercial use of apps and connected devices, with the highest use occurring in companies with 10-99 employees in the Gen Z/Millennial and GenX segments.
  • Digital Payment: All segments have strong use of ApplePay and Samsung Pay, except for Pre-Retirement Boomers.
  • On-Demand Insurance: Commercial use of On-Demand insurance is strong, in addition to online purchasing of insurance and the use of cloud-based subscription products.
  • Drones and 3D Printers: These technologies are both on the rise, indicating new areas of risk that will require new products and services. 3D Printer use is highest among Gen X/Boomer segment companies with 100-499 employees.
  • Risk Prevention: SMBs are willing to look at reduced costs and prevention of risks through value-added services and even social networking.

In creating digital offerings for all SMBs, insurers can begin their brainstorming with a list of digital capabilities and context drivers that are currently relevant to potential new business models and product and service offerings. Keeping this kind of list on-hand will allow companies to add/subtract/combine elements to form new Ideal Offerings.

  • On-Demand
  • Equipment and facility sensors
  • Telematics/vehicle and equipment tracking
  • Real-time data for traffic, weather and GIS
  • Automated mapping and routing
  • Drones
  • Facility monitoring and control
  • Digital security
  • Cloud services
  • Mobile account management
  • Digital assistant
  • Bundled insurance
  • Data-driven pricing
  • Inventory-based pricing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Augmented Reality
  • Preventive Services
  • Mobile messenger app-based communications and transactions
  • Fitness tracking for employees
 In our research, we decomposed many of the new business models, products and features that have recently entered the market into 30 different product, service and interaction attributes across six broad categories: Quote/Buy, Pricing, Manage, Context, Value-Added Services and Social. We then surveyed business stakeholder sentiment by generation and business size across these 30 attributes to judge potential interest.

Though any business segment could certainly be a place for a new Ideal Offering, the three company and generational segments with the highest level of interest in new offerings were:

  • Gen Z and Millennials, 10-99 employees
  • Gen Z and Millennials, 100-499 employees
  • Gen X and Pre-Retirement Boomers, 100-499 employees

These segments share traits across many areas, including:

  • Doing things that reduce risk or provide free or discounted services and products and rewards.
  • Using services that prevent or minimize risk, accidents or claims.
  • Using insurance to cover an event of specific duration.
  • Using mobile messaging apps for quoting, policy management, bill payment, claim filing and claim payment.
  • Creating new affinity relationships to get preferred pricing among social groups.
  • Using activity-based pricing for employees/vehicles/equipment.

SMB Playbooks

So, what does this mean to the business insurer playbooks — the ones you may be creating right now?

Well, first, it means that the time is ripe for creative business model, product and service development that shifts into the realms of Digital Insurance 2.0, by re-envisioning within the context of digital possibilities and desired engagement. An organization’s digital plays must include transformations that match generational SMB expectations and needs.

These sought-after attributes are redefining the insurance value chain we have known for the last 30-plus years as Insurance 1.0, and they don’t just represent simple improvements. They represent a new world of Digital Insurance 2.0.

Interestingly, pre-retirement boomers are open to digital services that will save claims and improve rates, signs that they are still engaged in making their businesses profitable and competitive. For example, business owners appreciate transparency in operations. Insurers that can provide an ecosystem of sensors, monitoring and risk reduction will find that businesses are highly ready for improved data and analytics regarding their own processes and risks. Every digital risk mitigation solution removes some of the weight and worry of the unknown. These services may go beyond business insurance products. Majesco fully expects that the insurer digital playbook will rapidly be filled with these non-insurance, value-added services that may also be foundational profit centers.

Mobile and messenger-based apps may soon be considered table stakes with business insurers, but Digital Insurance 2.0 capabilities within these apps will continue to grow and improve. They exist at the intersection of business desirability and the need for portable windows into operations and service.

See also: Darwinian Shift to Digital Insurance 2.0  

Contextual and on-demand insurance need cloud platform solutions to work. An insurer that is using cloud and AI for real-time data management and decisions, for example, will find it much easier to track and insure (and even provide preferred routing for) freight carriers, delivery services and any business that needs to move people or materials.

The gig part of the gig economy also needs episodic insurance. A benefit in this area may be grouping similar businesses for improved service. All of these possibilities fit within the positive opportunities identified by our research.

Insurtech companies and existing insurers are taking advantage of a new generation of buyers with new needs and expectations, capturing the opportunity to be the next market leaders in the digital age, Digital Insurance 2.0. While Insurance 1.0 is still firmly in place with the smallest businesses and Gen X and Pre-Retirement Boomer business owners, insurance companies need to adapt and innovate to compete and prepare for business shifts that are rapidly unfolding.

Where is your organization on the road to Digital Insurance 2.0? To gain more insights from our SMB research, be sure to read Insights for Growth Strategies: The New SMB Insurance Customer. For an in-depth look at how Cloud technologies can place insurers on the right road to digital transformation, check out Cloud Business Platform: The Path to Digital Insurance 2.0.

Security for Core Systems in the Cloud

As more insurers consider moving some of their core systems to the cloud, many want to know how secure their data and applications will be.

There are four major security considerations for cloud-based core systems: application risks, data risks, intellectual property risks and physical risks.

See also: Why the Cloud Makes It All Happen  

There are two basic models for how an insurer can use core systems in the cloud.

  • Model One: An insurer licenses core systems from a core system vendor, and then the insurer or an integration partner deploys and uses those core systems in the cloud.
  • Model Two: A core system vendor deploys its core systems in the cloud, and then makes those core systems available to an insurer on a subscription basis.

Leading cloud providers create and maintain a set of services and capabilities to provide security for infrastructure and platform cloud elements. The breadth and depth of these tools and capabilities are generally equal to, and often better than, those utilized by individual insurers that deploy core systems on their own premises.

When properly addressed, security considerations should not be a barrier to an insurer using and realizing the benefits of cloud-based core systems.

See also: How Can Insurers Leverage the Cloud?  

For access to the full report, please click here.

How Can Insurers Leverage the Cloud?

Insurers often fail to embrace the cloud for three reasons—and all three are fallacies.

Accenture recently worked with a multinational insurer on its cloud implementation and helped it achieve an 80% reduction in costs of a particular environment of an application suite. However, many insurers have been reluctant to tap into the power of the cloud. In this Insurance Insight of the Week video, I’ll look at some of their most common hesitations—and how to overcome them.

Three steps to help insurers capture opportunities unlocked by the cloud

The cloud offers flexibility, agility and scale—key capabilities in a marketplace where traditional industry barriers have disappeared and customer expectations can change on a dime. In today’s digital economy, it’s a crucial technology that insurers can use to become more competitive.

See also: Future of Digital Transformation  

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Why the Cloud Makes It All Happen

New technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and the IoT offer insurers a better way to engage customers. One crucial enabler? The cloud.

It would be an understatement to say that insurers have many more tools at their disposal today: new technologies, advanced analytics, access to broader data sources, for example. But these new tools aren’t possible without one crucial technology: the cloud. In this Insurance Insight of the Week, we’ll look at how the cloud makes digital happen.

The cloud makes digital happen

New technologies like blockchain and connected devices can help insurers improve customer service, speed to market and the bottom line. Insurers that tap into the cloud—and the capabilities it can enable—can take advantage of these technologies to become more competitive.

See also: Blockchain: Basis for Tomorrow  

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