At Novarica’s recent Special Interest Group for regional P&C insurers, held in Boston on June 25th, the CIOs and other technology executives in attendance discussed many pressing trends in the insurance industry: cyber security, agent facing technology, core systems transformations, the use of analytics and predictive models. Despite differences in culture and architectural environment, the IT professionals in the room shared common issues and challenges, particularly when it came to making the core system business case without ROI, security frameworks for NPI transmission to 3rd parties, balancing system configuration and speed and ease of upgrade, and knowledgeable resources to support implementation and maintenance of the systems.
Not surprisingly, core system transformations was a hot topic of discussion throughout the day. Most of the CIOs at the table had recently participated in one. While the consensus was that these projects are entirely worthwhile, a few important takeaways from their experiences include:
- Finding the right relationship with the vendor and investing in the relationship.
- Configuring your system just enough to make it work for your company but not enough to take you off of the upgrade path that your vendor offers.
- Having a plan and a parallel work stream for sun-setting old mainframes/solutions is an important part of the transformation project.
Top thoughts from the IT executives on the future of insurance included:
- Most believe that Agents are here to stay. Carriers, even those who are moving into more of a customer-facing and direct model, will still use the agent channel. Recent reports about millennials found that they often still seek the advice and guidance of trusted professionals.
- For most personal lines, the market will look more and more like Google – consumers will compare products against each other and make decisions on their own. Even for some smaller commercial lines this practice may continue to grow. However, in more sophisticated and complex lines of business, an agent still brings tremendous value.
Lots of disruption ahead in our industry, and the companies that attended this session are busy laying the technical foundation to enable the stability, efficiency, flexibility needed to be successful in the future.