I had another great conversation with Insurance & Technology’s Anthony O’Donnell today, this time to discuss where L&A carriers rank speed to market among their needs in core system modernization projects. As I explained to Anthony, core system replacement is being driven by a number of needs, including speed to market, data transparency, and better distributor and customer self-service.
But while vendor marketing messages and many pundits continue to (correctly) point out the need for speed to market, another critical need has emerged: product agility. Speed to market implies the need to get a product to market quickly, but product agility is the ability to add any new product to the system–whether the admin system supports it today or not. Many carriers seeking to add a long-term care rider to an annuity have to wait for vendors to improve their systems; think Medicare Supp or Medicare Part D as examples of healthcare legislation driving rapid product introduction needs, and look out a year or two at the huge potential changes.