Having a flexible network infrastructure is widely known to deliver choice and pace of change for organisations looking at digital transformation to modernise their business. This is especially true for insurers in order to maintain an IT infrastructure which provides business agility and speed of deployment.
A survey of CIOs found that the biggest challenges for digital transformation strategies are budget constraints (51%), overly complex or rigid legacy IT infrastructure (45%), and a lack of full visibility across the digital or end user experience (40%). However in the digital era of increased connectivity and high customer expectations, these challenges must be overcome to be able to retain market share.
Insurance companies must invest in networking and security solutions to create a foundation for hybrid cloud and multicloud adoption. This will enable transformation and scalability at a pace suitable for the business, and fast accommodation of growing business and customer demands, to gain a competitive advantage in a crowded market.
We recently released an ebook detailing 6 cloud connectivity use cases for the insurance industry. We wanted to share a few highlights from these use cases for an understanding of the benefits which cloud connectivity can bring in various areas of an insurance organisation.
Connecting IoT & black box data
The challenge with Internet of Things (IoT) devices is that the data must be transferred at a point in time to the insurer across the internet via 4G or maybe 5G connections, potentially on the move. The transfer of this data must be protected with a secure connection to protect against potential cyber threats. By implementing a secure connectivity platform, data from IoT and black box devices can be brought back to the insurer via a secure connection and aggregated through to the appropriate areas of the business.
Omni-channel customer acquisition
Cloud technology offers major opportunities for insurers to build a more flexible, nimble and customer-centric business model. In today’s digital world, insurers are catering across multiple channels, at any time, on any device. It’s imperative that customer experience is consistent across all channels. By implementing a unified networking and security solution, the organisation’s cloud and on-premise infrastructure environments can be seamlessly connected so customers get tailored real-time information, whatever their channel of choice.
Third party integrations
The joy of third party integrations obtaining that data is that every third party is different. They don’t just offer a different application, service, or other required consumable, it’s the way they present themselves and the varying security needs around the integrations, dependent on that offering. By implementing a secure connectivity platform, having all of those third party integrations in a consistent ecosystem with private connections, you can connect to what you want, when you want, and how you want, knowing that the connection is secure and robust. This is essential to protect third party connections – as well as providing the least latency where connections don’t run across the internet.
Business continuity and resilience
We’ve certainly had an unwelcome opportunity to put continuity plans into practice over the last year. In recently published business plans, both the PRA and the FCA made it clear that operational resilience is a top priority. Availability is absolutely key in providing a seamless customer experience in a competitive market. In order to achieve robust, world class capabilities in claims processes and FNOL, insurers must achieve a high availability for their call centres, agency systems, customer self-service portals, and other channels for loss reporting. By deploying a connectivity platform, an organisation can secure their entire ecosystem for one consistent view. This also brings multiple layers of resilience.
Since insurance companies hold enormous amounts of sensitive personal information such as personal properties and health information, it’s essential that IT infrastructure provides highly secure connectivity, so accessing and sharing this data doesn’t open up the organisation to potential threats and attacks. A secure connectivity platform allows organisations to connect to multiple cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft and Google, plus other cloud services including SaaS based products such as FNOL applications and Guidewire. Having an ability to consume major SaaS providers via a private link will be a huge bonus in the speed of connectivity as well as providing insurers with the extra security they need.
Upgrading and optimising IT infrastructure
Insurers are increasingly looking to empower their legacy estate (rather than replace it) with moving to the cloud, embracing micro-services and APIs and applying automation solutions – but this has to co-exist with constant pressures to reduce IT OPEX and total cost of ownership (TCO). Optimising infrastructure should really mean the right tool for the right job. In order to achieve that optimisation, insurers need to maximise the power of choice for as many secure connectivity options as possible. This enables interconnection at pace to migrate applications and workloads to where is most appropriate, be that co-location to get as close to the cloud edge as possible, hosting in data centres, virtual environments, or whichever solution proves the most beneficial in terms of cost and technology for the company.
For a deeper dive into these examples and for more information about how to implement technology solutions to achieve digital aspirations, download the 6 cloud connectivity use cases for the insurance industry ebook.