In this NextStep session Pedro Rosa Santos who leads the consulting services team for Keep it Simple, an OutSystems Partner, addressed how dynamic business applications can play a big part in the Insurance industry.
Pedro described the quantum leap experienced in the Insurance industry from 2005-2008 as it tried to deal with market demand for new products, online self service, the need for real-time information exchange with agent & broker channels and the drive to invest in new technology in order to reduce costs. The problem, Pedro explains, is that this has created an extremely complex IT environment for most Insurance companies around the globe - and the goal of building an infrastructure that is responsive to market needs - actually started to have the opposite result - preventing responsiveness!
To address the need for a responsive infrastructure and maintain low TCO - The Keep it Simple team are working with insurance companies to implement a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and build certain aspects of the systems as Dynamic Business Applications. They recommend to the insurance companies they work with (and which is probably applicable to the audience in other industries) the following:
Pedro describes Dynamic Business Applications as applications where you can change business rules or change the front-end extremely rapidly - in a couple of hours or a couple of days. In order to move forward in this way, Pedro recommended the following steps:
- Identify a back-office dynamic business application
- Migrate business logic and rules that can provide functionality to other services (like portal, CRM or BI)
- Portals, product pricing & management + claims management - adapt them to be changed easily, on a dialy basis and delivered to the end-user.
- Bring business process and business rules from the portal to the back-end, and make available to the portals and other apps.
"Portals should be built as Dynamic Business Apps, built with technologies like OutSystems - which can enable rapid change."
Pedro and the Keep it Simple team recommend that their customers and (probably applicable other industries)
- Improve your organization's time to market
- Use Agile methods get closer to end-user and address their needs
- Identify which components should be embracing change. You don't have to change everything all the time, but some systems need to adapt to change faster than others.
- Invest to consolidation of IT IS around Dynamic Businss Applications.