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Larry Wilson, Duck Creek board member, talks innovation, speed, and the importance of SaaS (Video)

“The first thing that I would recommend to a CFO is investigate cloud.”

I recently had the chance to sit down with Duck Creek board member Larry Wilson for a wide-ranging interview on the critical issues facing insurers today. We touched on many topics, from changing business models to the tools carriers need to innovate in today’s P&C insurance marketplace – but one concept that kept coming up was the importance of SaaS as an enabler of true competitive advantage:

“Clearly, the information technology and insurance technology that a carrier uses is critical to their mission and to their success. And it has to be deployable in a very rapid fashion to get the advantages of it. It needs to be run in a very secure and open environment where you can upgrade it, you can be best able to take advantage of the advances in technology while increasing competitiveness. And the first thing that I would recommend to a CFO is investigate cloud. ”

“I do not see the financial benefit – or any other benefit – from having in-house data centers and all that goes with them.”

Another common theme in our conversation was the need for insurers to adopt easily-configurable software that can be updated on the fly by insurance professionals, not developers:

“Configurable software means business analysts can work with the end-user business managers and leader to be able to develop solutions that implement the kinds of products and services and processes they want to deploy, and do it very quickly, and do it with people who understand insurance and can translate that into configurations of technology that are responsive and get operational very quickly.

You know, I think they key thing is, if you can’t create a new product in a day or a few days, then something’s wrong. You want to be able to configure a new product and put it in place and in production very quickly to be responsive and take advantage of marketplace opportunities or new distribution relationships. Similarly, with all the requirements of a carrier as it becomes increasingly digital will be very fast response times and to be able to do it accurately and be able to do it in a low-cost manner and make changes without a lot of technical work having to be done to implement those changes.”

For more of Larry’s insights into using data as a strategic asset, the changing nature of the industry itself, and much more, check out the video of our interview below:

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