By Dhrumil Dhakan
While uncertainty has become the norm of the day, this has raised an issue for the insurance sector, which bets on the probability of future events. This has prompted them to be more agile and resilient to keep up in this world by relying on tech but this does not seem to be enough, insurers will need to innovate with the industry partners and choose the right platform to be more responsive, agile and resilient.
Research data by Forrester that shows that over the last decade, there has been a significant drop in the productivity of the tech deployments or investments that the company has been making, citing the most important reason for this to be a firm’s unaddressed technology debt.
Talking about this debt, Ashutosh Sharma, VP & Research Director, Forrester Research said, “Unaddressed technology debt is something that companies need to retire before they really start realizing the productive benefits of tech investments. There are problems that have also started coming in because almost all organizations have access to very similar sorts of technology, talent pool, and processes as well. As a result, there’s a huge amount of sameness has started to creep in and firms have to figure out what can they do to drive differentiation and that’s driving, what we call a need for creativity.”
Having researched their partners on these problems and how to deal with them, they found that there is one approach that is helping the organizations, which is called the Future-fit technology strategy.
Diving deeper into it, Sharma added, “Let me just elaborate that a little bit, a Future Fit Technology strategy is a customer-obsessed approach to technology that enables a business to quickly reconfigure their structure and capabilities so that they can respond to changing market conditions, customer requirements in a very adaptive, creative, and resilient manner.”
What they also found in their study, as he stated, was that companies that were Future fit or which were close to being Future fit had an advantage over the rest of their peers, growing 3x in their respective fields.
“We are 20 years young and we have right from in-frame to cloud-native applications,” said Abhishek Bansal, CISO, Maxlife Insurance Company. “I think the majority of companies would be like that unless they are completely digital-led, so there is a technical debt that one has to go through and what’s propelling the need to cloud, the two core reasons which I see – One, which was evident and was picked up by a majority of the companies, not just insurance companies, where they saw scalability and the benefits of the cloud to scale up their infrastructure, to allow remote working and likewise, how they can enable their customers.”
The second element that he mentioned was millennials. He stated that whether it be a millennial workforce or a millennial customer, what they really want is an experience, and unless and until enterprises innovate and use the latest technologies to become a digital-first company, it is going to be a difficult task for them.
Also talking about their organization’s tryst with technology, Kiran Belsekar, VP – Risk & CISO, Aegon Life said that the company has transformed into a digital-only life insurance company, they do not have anything specific, in terms of Banca or the agency channels, which is a strategy that they are looking at.
“The experience or the culture which we are trying to build, internally, in terms of being a cloud-native company, while we have all the tech stack, which is the cloud journey we started a couple of years back, where we have taken a conscious, informed call to start this journey to be the digital-only life insurance company,” Belsekar said.
“We have tried to build the entire ecosystem around the cloud, which we are talking about, on the complete Microsoft architecture and if you look at why the microservices or the API perspective for an insurance company, or for that matter any industry, is important is basically we are living in an API economy and everyone one of us are consumers as well as the service providers and you can’t do your services on your own, you have to rely upon the entire market dynamics as well, it is an interdependent world,” Belsekar added.