I stepped into the role of Duck Creek’s Chief Product and Technology Officer proud to further the company’s mission to transform P&C insurance with software-as-a-service. What Duck Creek has accomplished to date from both technology and customer-centricity standpoints is remarkable, and I’m delighted to be part of the next chapter.
As I’ve come to know the people who make Duck Creek OnDemand the unrivaled SaaS solution that it is, I have been continually impressed and inspired by the entire team’s focus on creating tools that help insurers compete today and set them up for future success. Today, and to that end, I am excited to talk about a major component of Duck Creek’s evolution – a shift away from traditional software releases to the modern practice of continuous platform, product, and feature delivery.
The traditional cadence of software releases is limiting in terms of flexibility, iteration, and speed to market, and can’t be the way of the future. In virtually all industries today, there is simply too much innovation and competition to be left relying on outdated software or using a less complete feature set than those of direct competitors. To get new features and products to market fast, to iterate swiftly when changes are needed or wanted, and to make updates based on real-time user feedback, vendors of all business types have adopted a far nimbler methodology.
Continuous product and feature delivery is the practice of the world’s leading SaaS providers. Their customers never have to ask what version of their software they are using – they’re always on the most current version. The same holds true for Duck Creek OnDemand customers, for whom continuous delivery means never having to catch up just to stay relevant when speed and currency are key to outmaneuvering competitors and exceeding today’s customer expectations.
We see this philosophy as particularly relevant to the insurance industry – where many forces have emerged promising disruption with newfound vigor in the past few years. A wave of insurtech investment has brought some uncertainty, but also the welcome promise of change. At the same time, new modes of engagement with both channels and insureds have evolved alongside a whole new series of products – new ways to handle cyber risks, new asset classes like driverless vehicles, and a wave of AI and IoT that can help the industry shift from risk recovery products to risk prevention. All of these forces demand a nimbler approach to building, distributing, and servicing insurance products. We believe continuous delivery of new capabilities is critical to taking advantage of these opportunities.
This shift to continuous delivery has been underway at Duck Creek for some time: new Anywhere Managed Integrations are launched frequently; new products like Underwriting Workbench are introduced to the market as soon as they are ready; enhancements to Duck Creek Insights are delivered monthly, and cutting-edge insurtech tools are available regularly through the constant expansion of our robust partner ecosystem. As Jeff Wargin will detail in his forthcoming “year in review” post, we delivered over 100 new features and enhancements across the Duck Creek Platform in 2018 alone. As Duck Creek continues to bring the P&C industry to the cloud, we proudly embrace continuous delivery, and believe that our customers deserve nothing less.
Of course, we will continue to publicize the rollout of new products, features, and Anywhere Managed Integrations, but the days of “annual releases” are behind us. Instead, annually-published summaries of developments that Duck Creek brings to market during the year will serve as bookends to ongoing, regular delivery of value to the marketplace through new products, functionalities, and integrations delivered as soon as each are ready.
Every industry deserves to benefit from the practices that have forged widespread and rapid advances of technologies across industries and sectors. We’re committed to making sure that insurance is no exception.