Speed up processing and reduce the cost of doing business with automation


The growth in both the variety and the number of technology solutions available to insurers opens up a wealth of opportunity to drive efficiencies, improve customer experience and expand product portfolios. But the benefits also come with some disadvantages, notably the IT resource needed to integrate new tools, educate users and make sure they deliver against the organization’s needs.

Jake Sloan, global industry leader, Insurance, at Appian will reveal at this year’s Commercial Lines Innovation USA, how low-code innovation strategies can help modern insurers respond to their clients’ needs while blending seamlessly with the company’s existing legacy stack.

Can you define low code and how it’s relevant to insurers’ business today?
Low code is a visually designed software that is different from other Java-type solutions. It’s much faster to integrate—around 10 to 20 times faster over traditional coding methods. If you can draw a process flow, you can draw a design for an Appian solution.

Typically, what we see is that the business wants change at a pace far faster than IT can deliver it. This is not IT’s fault! We’re moving towards the era of the platform-as-a-service.

Insurers are likely to start with a single use case but there is broad appeal from the enterprise scale perspective. Whether there is an increase in underwriting intake or claims loss intake, organizations can pivot quickly and implement applications that help insurers answer that need.

Why are flexible platforms so important, particularly now?
When you think about the need for change, the insurance industry is innovative, it’s hungry for change—but when it comes to execution there are generally limitations in their systems.

There can’t be an imbalance where one side of the business is going faster than the other. The COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to a pertinent example: many insurers still use on-premises solutions but when the stay-at-home orders came into force, it was very hard to deal with on-premises technology for a remote workforce.

Technology is getting faster, and you have to have a system that is ready for that. Then there is the question of succession capability. There will be inevitable technology retirements coming up.

Low-code and platform-as-a-service technologies can be used in modernization and succession planning.

That’s because, if you think about how insurers have grown, a lot has been through acquisition. The industry has done a great job on the front end of looking calm and smooth, but at the back end it’s quite disorganized. Now, there’s a need for something that is smooth and that can orchestrate and connect the front and the back.

What do you say to carriers who would say their technology approach is ‘good enough’?
Bolt-on or bridge-type solutions are useful, but surely we want to make sure we’re not constantly being reactive to technology and market evolutions. The ‘Frankenstack’ of complexity and legacy systems means people are looking for something new and innovative that has the power to simplify their landscape—something that can create a best-in-case management and workflow and reduce expense, all the while making colleagues happier.

Think about the industry and generally how disciplined it has been in planning for once in 100-year events, such as COVID-19. But, when you look at how technology becomes an inhibitor and how long it takes to develop software through traditional methods, it’s not a lack of intent, it’s a lack of execution holding the sector back. Solutions sometimes take years to implement.

If you look at the application programming interface (API) aspect and what it enables, the benefits of speed and accessibility are clear. What successful insurtechs are doing with APIs is significant because it’s helping insurers create new products while also improving broker experience as well as the access to data.

What do you hope attendees take away from your presentation at Commercial Lines Innovation USA?
I hope that they walk away inspired, with a feeling that there’s a path forward. All too often, it’s easy to be confined and restricted by what you’ve always done. The Appian platform brings both sides—operations and IT—together.

It gives IT the speed to deliver in a highly regulated environment and the business the ability to differentiate experiences and benefit from the intelligent automation of remedial administrative work.

Jake Sloan will be speaking at Intelligent Insurer's Commercial Lines Innovation USA Virtual Event (May 18 to 20). The event is free to attend for insurers and brokers/agents, but you must register in advance. Sign up to access the content live and on demand here.

Appian, Commercial lines, Insurance, Reinsurance, Automation, Jake Sloan, North America

Intelligent Insurer