New business demands and technology requirements are challenging insurers to change the way they operate. Recently, BriteCore CEO Phil Reynolds joined Strategy Meets Action and a panel of experts to discuss four fundamental elements insurers must adopt to remain relevant in the new era of computing: microservices, DevOps, new user interfaces, and data analytics.
Microservices—Phil Reynolds, CEO, BriteCore
Insurers are excited about all the new technology available but aren’t always sure how to move forward. Microservices offer a low barrier to entry and provide a fantastic way to connect to new data sources, partners, and technologies. Insurers looking to remain competitive will appreciate the increased speed, functionality, and scalability microservices offer.
A microservice is a small software component that can be deployed independently from other applications. Microservices handle the same fundamental workloads a monolithic system does—tasks like accepting payments, generating an invoice, or logging into the platform—from separate code bases. This means individual services can be implemented on their own or tightly integrated so that they feel like a single suite. The separation in their architecture leads to a host of benefits including scalability, reusability, maintainability, flexibility, and resiliency.
DevOps—Tony Grosso, VP of Product Marketing and Industry Strategy, EIS Group
Insurers can’t afford a years-long software implementation or a months-long wait for a “big bang” upgrade. Organizations need a quicker, more agile approach. Embracing the cloud, serverless technology, and microservices is a great place to start, but insurers looking to maintain momentum must also move to a development and operations, or DevOps, model.
DevOps is the merging of software development and IT operations. The goal of a DevOps strategy is to make small, frequent updates that result in long-term ownership of a system. The practice of continuous integration and continuous delivery can save insurers 30-40% in project costs compared to the traditional software implementation and upgrade approach.
User Interfaces—Jonathan Victor, CIO, Insurity
Insurers have to communicate in their customers’ preferred way or lose out to more convenient and responsive competitors. The digital customer experience may require any number of new user interfaces from chatbots and voice assistant integrations to smart documents. The interfaces an insurer chooses to use depends on their unique customer base, but the goal should always be the same: build an enhanced, integrated, and customized user experience that is simple and streamlined for end users.
Interface integrations are driven by a business need or market opportunity and must be held to a precise scope. A digital platform provides an environment where insurers can test third-party interfaces and integrate those that are the right fit.
Data Analytics and AI - Cindy Maike, VP of Industry Solutions and GM of Insurance and Healthcare, Hortonworks
Insurers, like the rest of the world, are inundated by data. Core systems provide familiar data sets, but connected homes and cars, along with drones and satellites, offer new and invaluable data points. Insurers must decide where to store all this data and how to manage and analyze it. They need a data strategy that allows them to make real-time decisions and take action. Here are a few key points to help insurers along their way:
Data must be made agile through containerization and optimization.
Data must be scalable as the organization grows and the types and sources of data increase.
Data from non-traditional sources must be leveraged through artificial intelligence and deep learning.
Data must be secured and governed to meet data privacy regulations and prevent data swamps.
Data becomes actionable when it’s stored and managed in a real-time data warehouse.
Data from core systems and third-party applications must be integrated.
Here’s an example from an insurer who leveraged non-traditional, integrated datasets to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey:
- BriteCon2018 Presentation: Intro to BriteCore’s Microservices Products