Duck Creek Blog
Blog Post - EMEA

UK Brands: The IT Streamlining Imperative

October 25, 2018

Modern consumers are demanding. Very demanding. Online quoting portals, indicative pricing within 60 seconds, low-touch renewal, efficient claims handling – these aren’t “nice to haves,” these are “need to haves.” They are expected; they should be implicit.

This is not just in personal lines – the current battle for the SME commercial market is showing how ancient many insurers’ technology infrastructures are.

Still need to run overnight batches, for instance? How does this align with the 24/7 buyer?

As we live in an era when even a few minutes’ delay on a consumer’s insurance buying journey can make or break a deal, pricing needs to be highly targeted, data-driven, and competitive. Agility is key when bringing new and updated products to a live environment. Now. Not in six months’ time, now.

The Underwriter’s Dilemma

All this is a good thing; it’s keeping a highly competitive industry on its toes. But this brave new world is also keeping too many underwriters awake at night for my liking.

Customer loyalty and retention is the name of the game, and only a high-performance, reliable, and flexible insurance platform can make this possible – as otherwise the desire to create new products and the speed needed to deliver these to an expectant market are misaligned.

However, the current patchwork of legacy systems, and indeed many recent legacy platforms (you know the ones, recent and expensive – modern legacy at its worst) are all too often at odds with the joined-up customer service ambitions of many insurers.

In order to align their capabilities with the demands of their insureds, these companies need to overcome three key fears:

  1. That upgrading IT systems to a flexible, scalable, open platform will cost more than buying a private island, three new private jets, and a trip around the moon combined. It won’t. Stop investing in dead tech and repurpose the spend to the higher ground of customer service.
  2. That all IT system upgrades are doomed to fail – either from inception or at the next new product launch – costing time, money, and the job of whoever it was that had the bright idea to upgrade in the first place. Have a look at what precipitated the last failure you experienced, and adjust your process so as to not get things wrong next time.
  3. The future. What if your company wants to adopt a new technology or channel to market? Will your new IT system be able to adapt? Does your existing supplier wring their hands with pleasure at the prospect of another round of spending? Will this entire exercise need to be repeated ad nauseum -more hand-wringing and cost? Unless you are enjoying your upgrade nightmare at each new release, it’s time to take a serious look at SaaS.
A Conundrum Solved

How can the best UK multi-service brands offer a cutting-edge system for a high volume of insurance policies, and also realise efficiency savings? Can the two ever go hand in hand?

It is always a momentous decision to upgrade IT systems, and often the way these systems are sourced and delivered creates the conditions for failure. How can you make an informed choice and find a trusted, expert supplier who can boost your brand’s competitive edge? With the right partner, change should be welcomed, not feared.

We believe that moving often unwieldy legacy core systems to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is not a question of if, but when, for the UK’s multi-lines insurers.

But don’t just listen to us – listen to our customers, and get your hands on our kit. It’s not a secret; we welcome a more hands-on approach to the sourcing of new IT systems. If your prospective supplier does not, then walk away quickly. You’ve just had a near miss.

Be future-ready. Be connected, smart, and nimble. Be prepared for tomorrow with core insurance software delivered as a service.

To find out more, please contact Louise Pedder.

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Bart Patrick
Bart Patrick is Duck Creek's Managing Director for Europe. Specialising in digital insurance innovation, his prior roles include heading up insurance business strategy, technology, services and sales for companies such as TCS, SAP, Pega, and SAS – running P&Ls in excess of £25m and supporting staffing levels of more than 1000. In his most recent role as Director, Insurance EMEA at SAP, Patrick directed Insurance Innovation for the EMEA North region, helping insurers and insurtechs alike get the most from their investments in technology.