As I said in an earlier post, speed to market is a complex concept that touches on infrastructure, regulation, pre-packaged content, and flexible technology, but it ultimately reflects an insurer’s confidence that a vendor partner can deliver, here and now, to a P&C market that is changing faster than ever.
The amount of business coming from mobile and online devices has been increasing for years now. What’s newer are customers’ heightened expectations of their experiences through these devices, as well as the challenges of managing both the velocity and increased volume of their technology-driven requests.
The first sustained response from insurers to these challenges was with customer- and agent-facing technology – apps, web apps, and portals, in particular. These groundbreaking products were, and remain, vital to user experience, carrier efficiency, and underwriting quality. As with most improvements, however, these new solutions have begun to reveal, by contrast, inherent limitations of the core systems they sit in front of – even those that are just a few years old, never mind true legacy systems. While wrap-and-extend efforts have been valuable to many insurers, expectations for seamless omnichannel customer experiences continue to grow, as does disappointment when insurers fail to deliver on those expectations.
Consider that three-quarters of consumers use an insurer’s website or an aggregator to gather quotes and perform research, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. Among actual customers, almost half got an online quote from an insurer, and 25 percent bought online; 50 percent closed the deal through an agent, and just over 20 percent purchased through a call center. While I would guess that those numbers have gone up since that report came out, there’s still a great deal of opportunity to be had by increasing online quoting, sales, and marketing activity. I would also contend that there is important opportunity in increasing closure rates.
Older core systems simply can’t offer the streamlined internal processes, data access, and integrations necessary to support today’s “within minutes” sales requirements. Insurers can pay CSRs to wade through slow, siloed systems searching for answers, but consumers won’t. And, increasingly, they don’t have to.
Today’s P&C insurers need to consolidate products, improve on their ability to cross- and up-sell, and enhance self-service opportunities, all within their core systems. The ability to do so in months, not years, requires an open, scalable architecture and the ability to configure – not code – dramatically cutting the time and effort needed to bring new products to market.
That’s just a slice of what speed-to-market means. More to come. In the meantime, if you want to know more about how modern core systems are enabling rapid innovation through low-code environments, check out our Practical Guide to Accelerating Speed to Market for P&C insurance Products. You’ll get a deep dive into scaling innovation and deployment to delight customers in today’s speed-focused insurance market. Download the Guide.