The future is an agile software ecosystem in the cloud, writes Ellen Kay, UK Product Manager at Duck Creek Technologies in Europe, and the industry is evolving quickly to get there
If David Attenborough was to produce a “nature” documentary about the insurance industry, I wonder what the natural habitat of the typical insurance business would look like?
“Here we see the long-suffering insurance IT professional, coffee in hand, hoping to slink into the back office unnoticed. The system he is in charge of is all too often at odds with the expectations of the board; his habitat is shrinking and making it more difficult for the business to compete. Can he adapt?”
What this IT professional, and indeed the insurance business as a whole, needs is a more effective ecosystem in which they can thrive – an ecosystem diverse with the best technology available, moving away from closed-box silos to an open, adaptable, and evolving system of partnerships with tech providers that plug in seamlessly to existing systems.
It’s an exciting prospect. We want to create something big for insurers, but without the heap of IT infrastructure they’ve had in the past. When it’s working optimally, it will enable and automate a spectrum of activities, inter-relating previously disparate offerings, and offering a seamless customer experience. This new network we envision includes inter-related solution, delivery, and consulting partners, with all the technical expertise needed to succeed.
Our ecosystem will extend the power of Duck Creek’s Platform and the value of our core systems. It will be an open platform for integrating cutting edge, complementary solutions. It’s vital we have a team of people dedicated to our ecosystem and the relationships with our partners. The mission is to build the most dynamic and valuable partner ecosystem in the insurance software and SaaS industry.
Why are partnerships so crucial?
Firstly, we’re focused on ease of integration, so our clients don’t have to be. Our mission is to identify best-in-class complementary solutions, leveraging leading technology innovations, to ensure that our customers have great options throughout the deployment and management of their core systems.
Secondly, as Duck Creek expands globally, our regional partnerships will connect us with local markets. Each region, its consumer habits, and local regulations must be reflected in the composition of our ecosystem.
What will be the biggest themes for ecosystems in the 2020s?
The software industry is constantly evolving and undergoing rapid changes. Anti-fraud technology is moving ahead in leaps and bounds; data is big and getting bigger; and ecosystems for specific lines of business, such as cyber, are expected to proliferate.
Disruptive challengers with deep pockets will challenge existing distribution channels and business models. Savvy insurers will utilise ecosystems to reinvigorate their strategies without having to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.
How do insurers benefit?
Ecosystems provide value for three decisive reasons:
- They reduce friction for customers using different services that don’t interact – a source of manual processes, rekeying and duplication
- They provide an enterprise view, integrating silos for functions like risk selection, data-driven pricing, and superior risk management
- Collaborating in the cloud allows us to harness additional resources
Choosing wisely is easier said than done. Many carriers have wasted treasure buying something shiny and new, only for it to be left behind in an evolving landscape, or else fail to integrate it with legacy systems. A cloud ecosystem is collaborative; it reduces those risks, and the headaches of integration are passed to the technology experts – us. That needs trust and a change of mindset. We believe the payoff will be worth it.
In nature, ecosystems are about diversity and symbiosis – and ultimately ensuring the survival of those that inhabit them. And in the competitive world of insurance, only the fittest will survive, and you’ll find them thriving in an ecosystem of best-in-class technology.
Vlog – Why are Ecosystems Important for Insurers?
The software industry is rapidly developing, and it’s fair to say that the landscape will have developed beyond recognition in five years’ time. So what are some of the challenges that insurers face when trying to digitally transform, and how does an open-architecture ecosystem help address these challenges? And what does the future look like for ecosystems in insurance?
Ellen Kay, UK Product Manager at Duck Creek Technologies in Europe, shines the spotlight on how insurers benefit from an ecosystem approach to technology in this short but highly informative vlog.