SSP’s chief technology answers questions on the big issues of the day 

The topics will be discussed in full detail at the SSP-sponsored webinar on July 30, 11am. Click here to register 

The webinar is called ’The legacy of Covid-19 will be the end of legacy - how a global pandemic is accelerating the adoption of cloud platforms’

 By Kevin Gaut, chief technology officer, SSP on the big issues both impacting insurance 

What will the legacy of COVID-19 be for the insurance market?

Brand damage arising from insurers not paying claims to their customers who thought they had purchased pandemic cover will be a major legacy of this pandemic.

Equally, reputational improvements from organisations that have gone the extra mile for their customers will far outlast coronavirus.

But, having spoken to numerous insurers, MGAs and brokers throughout lockdown, another trend has become very apparent; on-premise, legacy technology is no longer fit for purpose.

Your staff and customers need to interact with the insurance company online and must be able to access core systems at any time and from anywhere.

Combine this with the changing nature of insurance – to that of being an integrated service as part of a wider ecosystem – and you have market conditions primed for the adoption of cloud-based platforms.

Why is digitalisation ‘so last decade’?

‘Digital transformation’ has been on most insurance companies’ to-do lists for over a decade now. Generally, what these organisations mean by ‘digitalisation’ is creating an online web journey or moving from admin systems that use green screen systems of record to WinForms or browser-based applications.

This is digitising an existing process from the inside out, rather than “being digital” which creates new operating models and processes from the outside in.

We are now seeing that technology needs to be at the very heart of the insurance business model; the key differentiator has shifted from product and underwriting expertise (though these remain vital) to technology assets and data algorithms.

This shift also moves away from a single monolithic software provider to an eco-system or collection of best of breed providers.

What is the difference between ‘digital’ and ‘platform’ technology?

While digital technology externalises and improves the traditional business model, platforms put technology at the very heart of it.

Platforms can be defined as a group of technologies that act as a base upon which applications, processes and technologies are developed.

As the name suggests, they act as the platform – or foundation – for everything that an insurance company does. While this includes the traditional Policy Administration and the ‘digital’ front-ends, it goes much further.

Platforms integrate every step in the insurance value chain – from rating and pricing to document management – while also connecting with various external partners, devices and data sources. This enables insurance companies to act as service providers, operating within wider ecosystems.

What benefits will cloud-native, platform technology bring to insurers, brokers and MGAs?

By adopting cloud-native platforms, insurance organisations can operate in a more agile, intelligent, efficient and cost-effective manner:

· Reliable Scalability being a cloud native platform means that the scalability to meet the demands of the markets you operate in without the constraint of someone else’s data centre however much of a cloud it is called

· Intelligent decisions can be made by leveraging platform technology for data analytics. All data across the platform is pooled into a cloud-based data lake in real-time, which can provide business intelligence and be subjected to machine learning and AI tools

· Reduced cost of ownership through use of multi-tenanted (shared) software band utility-based pricing which is paid for by what you use/consume

· Agility for business users, every system you use should support low/no-code, for SSP this means bringing the best of our partner Amazon Web Services (AWS) and their investments into an Insurance context for our on the customers on the SSP Insurance Platform

· Location Independence a cloud native platform can run in any location, in any region required by the customer or local regulations. SSP recently used its cloud-native platform to deliver the first financial services product into AWS South African data centre, deploying capabilities from Europe at the touch of a button. With a cloud native platform the you are no-longer and there are no limits

How are SSP helping the industry embrace the platform age?

SSP has invested £40m+ and 3 years’ development time to re-engineer our multiple policy administration systems into a single cloud-native platform to serve all market segments – Insurers, MGAs and Brokers – globally.

The SSP Insurance Platform includes four modules:

· Engage: Customer, broker and contact centre channels

· Quote: Rating, pricing and data enrichment

· Admin: Policy administration, finance and claims

· Intuition: Business intelligence, AI and machine learning

The platform is then specifically tailored to suit insurers, MGAs and brokers respectively. We have done the hard work so that you don’t have to.

While the iterations are different depending on the entity, by using shared components SSP’s R&D is focused on continually improving this one platform. And, thanks to the automatic updates every 10 weeks, our customers will never be on legacy technology again.