The Celent senior vice-president imagines a future of bring-your-own iPads and create-your-own solutions

Q. What has been the highlight of your career?

A. Working at Celent has let me work from home and achieve a greater work/life balance. It’s improved my quality of life.

Q. What has been the main change in insurance IT over the past five years?

A. The move towards packaged solutions rather than custom-made products has been the biggest shift. This should help rule out future legacy technology issues – but it’s not been adopted far enough yet.

Q. What are the big problems behind technical initiatives?

A. The problem is getting trust that a project can be completed on time and to budget. We’ve seen movement in the right direction, but this issue has been the reason some big initiatives didn’t work.

Q. What opportunities are there for new technology?

A. It’s not just about flashy apps. We’ll see more bring-your-own-device approaches in insurance, already seen in other industries. It’s about moving towards a usage-based model, including delivery via hosted solutions in shared centres.

Q. What will insurers and brokers of the future be like?

A. Technology will give a lot more control to businesses in creating their own products or making rate changes without relying on IT. This is important as the business tries to get to market more quickly with product or price changes.

We’ll also see more light-touch or ‘flow’ business, so certain lines of business, even in SME, could be rated and written automatically, freeing up underwriters to focus on special or exceptional cases.

Catherine Stagg-Macey is senior vice-president at Celent Insurance Group.