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Innovating at the Speed of the Customer

Appian Contributor
September 12, 2018

Speed is critical for innovation. And today, insurers are innovating with the customer in mind: focusing on the need to be on top of emerging trends, stay ahead of the competition, and reduce costs while still offering the highest level of customer service.

This has led to insurers rethinking the way they run their companies, becoming more open to emerging technologies and how they can quickly integrate them into business processes. But the traditional core system rip-and-replace model is not built for speed. Long implementations are an obstacle to generating returns on innovation and product development.

For insurers to innovate fast, they need a platform that speeds development and enables them to leverage their existing systems ñ automating work through integrations and streamlined processes ñ so they can quickly address high priority projects.

The Benefits of Speed

Increasing speed to market can lead to numerous benefits for insurers. InsurTechs have demonstrated this approach works, and established carriers have taken note ñ and in many cases, are emulating these new companies. Greater agility has the potential to boost a company's top line growth and overall profitability, and the ROI is often directly measurable.

Some ROI examples include:

    • Faster Innovation. Insurance companies that are built for speed can react more quickly to competitors' moves or market shifts.

    • Lower Development Costs. Streamlined processes, faster iterations, and easier integrations to emerging technologies can lower IT costs.

    • Larger Market Share. A product that gets to market early is less likely to face initial competition, and also has more time to build market share.

Fast innovators in the insurance space ñ both InsurTechs and established companies with innovation labs ñ have shown that shortening product development cycles to achieve speed to market can be a competitive advantage.

Additionally, fast innovators ñ even though they might fail fast at times ñ are much more likely to take risks to be more disruptive. They see the benefit of moving quickly, and how a cross-functional, integrated organization accelerates decision-making and speeds responsiveness to shifting market trends and customer demands.

Designing the System for Speed

The speed that technologies are emerging and being embraced illustrates that the new pace of change is here to stay. Until recently, the majority of insurers looked at new technologies with caution, using them to make small improvements to existing processes. But now, insurers are looking at ways to incorporate things like artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and drones in their technology ecosystems to completely reinvent business process management, increase worker engagement, and improve customer experiences. Additionally, these technologies have the potential to positively impact revenue. A recent Accenture study points to a potential $10 billion to $20 billion profit boost for North American carriers.

But, incorporating these technologies into a monolithic core system is difficult, and one-off integrations are expensive and slow to develop. In order to stay competitive in today's market, insurers need to think differently about how to solve insurance business problems.

A low-code platform is the optimal technology for insurers to address and execute an ongoing business strategy. The speed and flexibility enables rapid-application development and easy integration of emerging technologies ñ empowering an organization to innovate at the speed of the customer.

Visit Appian at InsureTech Connect

The Appian insurance team is getting ready for InsureTech Connect, taking place October 1-3 in Las Vegas. We'd welcome the opportunity to talk to you about how a low-code, platform approach can enable your company to rapidly deploy digital capabilities and compete in the new digital insurance landscape. Make plans to stop by Booth 521 or set up an appointment to meet with one of our Account Executives. You can schedule a meeting here.

Also, Jacob Sloan, Industry Leader Insurance - North America, will be moderating a panel discussion on Tuesday, October 2 at 3:00: How Close to the Core Can InsurTech Get? Joining him will be a group of insurance technology leaders who'll be discussing different approaches to technology modernization, with the focus on how insurers can become digital-first companies. We're looking forward to a great discussion, and hope you'll make plans to attend.