(Editor’s note: Occasionally, we ask an insurance technology leader a single question to elicit a response that will enlighten and inform the Technology channel readership. If you would like to participate, contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org)
This Week’s Question: How do you extract maximum value from system configurability throughout the enterprise?
Heather Peacock, executive vice president, client services & delivery, OneShield: Today, it is a given that all modern core systems are configurable, but few systems truly provide the advanced configurability insurance companies need for the future. The industry has come to expect that the product areas—rates, rules, forms, and product definitions—are configurable.
However, not only do products change rapidly, so do customer preferences, distribution demands, operating demands, reinsurance processes, and servicestandards. Thus, for the core system enterprise to benefit from configuration advantages, the configuration tool being used should also allow design of workload management, system-wide workflow, policy lifecycle, partner and customer management, security, user interface, integration, and more.
As you might imagine, the more configurable the system, the more extensive the configuration tool, and ostensibly, the more it extends the ability to maintain and control the system throughout departments in an organization. This means a broader group of staff within an insurance organization can take advantage of having control over areas of the system where their direct skills and experience can add real value to how the system is used within the enterprise.
For example, it provides the business areas with the ability to maintain product areas of the system directly, while administrators maintain control over the security features and the IT group maintains control over operational workflows, complex functions and integrations.
After thoughtful consideration of what complete configurability can mean to the organization, it is equally important to include safeguards for the implementation and long-term maintenance of such a system. Since the possibilities can be limitless, a strong IT data management and data promotion policy is important. And, while the power to make changes that benefit across the enterprise is crucial, companies can decide whether a decentralized or centralized maintenance team is the best approach.
True configuration can bring value to the entire enterprise, putting the experts in control of their respective areas. Insurers can gain a real competitive advantage from the flexibility, speed and cost savings of a configurable system that does not inhibit the business goals. Further, giving the business and operations staff the power to modify the system rapidly at all levels allows unprecedented speed, precision in the market, and operational efficiency.
Heather Peacock is the executive vice president of client delivery and services for OneShield, Inc. She can be reached for further insights and comment via email at email@example.com.