Urgency must not lead to more legacy
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
STOP! This moment could be the most important in both your company and the entire insurance industry's future.
An overstatement? Then I urge you to think back many years.
There was a moment in time when we didn't have legacy systems - we'll call that the "Utopian Era". Yet at a moment in time, one person made a decision that has paralysed our industry for my entire professional career; they bought the first of the (now) legacy platforms. In insurance, these are platforms that were cutting edge at the time, but have slowly become outdated. Due to the way they've been built, getting data in and out of them is next to impossible, meaning you're kind of stuck with them!
At that moment, they went all-in but failed to ask themselves one key question; "What do I do when this no longer meets my needs?"
And it was always a "when" not an "if".
Think forward to the present moment in time, with RPA and automation as the reference point. As we find ourselves in a crisis of epic proportions, many of the tools we have are also at a crucial tipping point. We've invested time and money into mastering them, but they're starting to get old and aren't evolving at the same speed that our business is.
If I ask of you just one thing; do not let this crisis force you into further investment in those tools and platforms. Do what you need to, to keep the lights on and then...take a moment.
Ask yourself these five questions and keep yourself honest;
Do the tools we have enable us to do all the things we hoped, or are we limited by the technology available?
Is the cost of delivering many of the ideas we have, prohibitive?
Are the tools we use getting noticeably and practically better over time?
Is resource proving to be the biggest bottleneck for delivery?
Are we able to do things quickly and scale our ideas?
If the answer to any of the above is "No", you could be about to make the same mistakes we made in the past - taking ourselves down a dead-end that we can't get out of. At the very least, use this unique moment in time to review the market. Consider onboarding new tools that give you those capabilities you lack. As InsurTechs have shown, technology should be an enabler and a means of improving the way things are currently done.
WRITTEN BY ED HALSEY
Any opinions expressed here are my own and not the views of any of my employers. They are personal views based upon a 15-year career in insurance across underwriting and sales roles at mainstream insurers, consultancy firms and technology providers.