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How to build the right IT solution for insurers
Changing up your technical infrastructure is not an easy task. The digital age is dynamic, so what is needed today may become obsolete tomorrow. Read an interview with Luis Carrasco, Global Head of Insurance and Banking Solutions at Indra, who explains how they overcame this issue with their iOne IT solution and how you can benefit from it.
What is the most important thing to consider when developing an all-in-one IT solution for the insurance industry?
If I were running the technology department of an insurance company, I would be looking for a model that allows me to project the particularities of my business. I would like a solution that is architecturally flexible, aligned with my preferred technological stack and capable of incorporating my distinctive business processes. Additionally, I would want full control over my solution and my future, so I'd need to be self-sufficient and have the right to decide. With this in mind, no wonder most CIOs believe packaged solutions are not the answer.
Therefore, when approaching this kind of development, it is of fundamental importance to make sure the solution has built-in mechanisms to guarantee adaptability and interoperability.
In these exciting times, technology is turning the insurance market upside down, generating new expectations, altering customers' behavior and promoting innovative thinking. Therefore, an all-in-one solution must be able to decouple the traditional monolithic platforms in order to allow independent evolution of the technology stack, flexible product building and fast time to market in the delivery of these products through current or future channels.
I strongly believe the main goal of product development is to reach an adequate balance between standardization and adaptability in order to endow our customers with a functionally rich core system containing enough extension mechanisms to incorporate their own personal way of doing business.
At Indra, we have tried to embed this philosophy into our iOne suite of products which empowers our customers to develop new and disruptive business models in a confident and controlled way.
What do you think is the better way to approach things for an insurer when considering modernization – being provided with a solution, or outsourcing?
I don’t believe in “one size fits all.” There are many factors when selecting an adequate technological model that suits your company.
One of these factors is deciding whether you see information technology as a business enabler with differential value capabilities, or just as a commodity. If you conclude that technology is a key enabler, then it’s all about trust: Trust in the solution and trust in your technology partner.
If we dive into the modernization process, we’ll find that there have been multiple stages over the last two decades that have progressively evolved the paradigms existing in the '90s. The current digital modernization process, applied to product and services distribution is merely the last stage. Unless a company has diligently evolved their technology ecosystem through the previous stages, approaching this last step independently will not suffice as a refactoring of the core processing is most likely a must to realize the benefits of the digital world.
Whether you decide to focus on the business and delegate your technology to a partner, or you decide to incorporate a solution in your premises, you must be conscious that this is not a black-or-white lifetime decision. Digital modernization, like any other revolutionary event, has a high degree of associated uncertainty and risk. Therefore, there are no guarantees that every step taken is in the right direction.
With this in mind, consuming a solution as a service allows the impact of this risk to be mitigated and doesn’t lock the insurers into unfortunate choices. A pay-per-use model provides additional flexibility as it creates a correlation between the cost of using the technology and the evolution of the business. Moreover, an adequate partner could expand the extent of these benefits into a complete business operations-as-a-service model.
Thanks to our unique portfolio of capabilities, Indra has the strategic objective to become the partner of choice on whom our customers rely to outsource the technical and operational sides of their business.
What is the main strength of your flagship product, iONE, that other solutions lack?
iOne addresses the key challenges the insurance industry is facing nowadays. Opposed to the traditional product-oriented solutions, it has been designed around the customer, providing a 360-degree customer-centric lookout which allows effective multi-channel cross-selling campaigns.
It reduces to a fraction the time required to launch new products, thanks to a complete product builder and an integrated actuarial formulae engine, and also permits a quick and measurable monetization of the information thanks to its built-in interoperability capabilities that enable seamless integration with Business Analytics tools.
Moreover, iOne combines flexibility and process orientation thanks to the integrated Business Processes and Business Rules engines that allow absolute modeling and control of the system response from a business perspective.
From the technological point of view, iOne has an omnichannel-oriented SOA architecture that is able to execute different business logic depending on the interaction channel and truly expose, via micro-services, any of this logic to external applications for its consumption. Its layered architecture cuts the maintenance costs, fosters its evolution and completely separates the customer specificities to keep upgradability capabilities intact.
Having been launched in 2012, iOne is a relatively new product. Better than having a past and a present, iOne’s ambition is to have a present and a future, thus becoming the market leading solution for the next 20 years.
Indra is a leading global consulting and technology company and a key technology partner to insurance companies around the world delivering IT solutions to the market for over 20 years.
iONE, received the “XCelent Technology 2012 award".
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