Uncertainty was the overarching theme in Forrester’s recent “Top Insurance Technology Trends to Watch” webinar, which struck me as somewhat amusing. Here’s why:

  1. It was refreshing to have an industry analyst admit for once that they have no crystal ball.
  2. It was a case of taking your own advice, insurers—you had better have a policy in place, in case calamity comes calling.

The chances of a calamity befalling insurers (and the rest of us for that matter) seem to be ratcheting up at present. It is now 9 years since the last recession. Ten years is the longest the U.S. has ever gone without a recession, so no wonder 46% of CFOs think that a recession in 2019 is likely. Tell me what happy drugs the other 54% are taking; I’ll have some too!

Spare a thought for insurers though. Globally, they were on the hook for $79 billion of personal and casualty insured losses in 2018. Those once in a lifetime loss events (like fires and floods) seem to happen ever more frequently. I’ll leave you to consider whether that’s due to global warming, bad luck, or the so-called “mysterious ways” of a great puppet master in the sky.

An IT Policy for Uncertain Times

According to Forrester’s “Global Business Technographics® Priorities and Journey Survey, 2018,” the three top business priorities for insurers are:

  • To improve customer experiences
  • To grow their revenue
  • To improve their ability to innovate

I dare say respondents from any B2C industry would be likely to say much the same thing. However, the question for insurers is how to focus on these expansive goals, while at the same time recovering from a terrible year for claims losses, and maintain a defensive posture, in case the calamity of recession does come to pass.

Agility Calls for Low-Code

Agility must be what every insurance CIO is wishing for in 2019—the ability to develop fast, and, when necessary, change direction faster still. Perhaps now is not the time to embark on multi-year projects? Many might say that the chances are too high that you’ll get halfway through such an endeavor and have nothing to show for it when the board tells IT to make swinging cuts to expenditure.

So, rather than drawn-out re-platforming projects, in 2019, insurance CIOs are more likely to want to exploit the technology assets they already have and find quick, tactical ways of improving CX and supporting faster innovation, without having to rip and replace core insurance systems.

In this regard, insurers that have already adopted a low-code platform will be at a distinct advantage. They’ll be better able to experiment and rapidly launch superior customer experiences and new digital propositions. Speaking more specifically about OutSystems, four low-code capabilities enable our insurance customers to innovate at pace:

  1. Development speed is up to ten times faster than traditional coding.
  2. World class integration means insurers can extend, wrap, integrate, or replace legacy systems at the time and pace that they require.
  3. Developers can create brilliant web and mobile digital experiences super fast using over 100 pre-built UI patterns and screen templates, or, should the need arise, incorporated custom code.
  4. OutSystems integrates with leading AI and IoT technologies through prebuilt connectors which bridge the rapid application development paradigm with the technology that so many InsurTech propositions are rooted in.

Putting it All Together

There are multiple insurance case studies on the OutSystems website. For example, Fidelidade, the leading insurance operator in Portugal, has adopted OutSystems as its strategic platform for digital transformation.

Insurance Industry Tech - Case Study

Read the full case study here.

Where to Start?

If you’re an insurer that has not yet gotten started with low-code, you’d better get to it quickly, as firms like Axa, Liberty, and Zurich are just some of many insurance firms that are innovating faster with the OutSystems low-code platform.

Typically, first projects are delivered inside 3 months, and by engaging with one of our 260+ international partners, you can fast track your learning with consultants, developers, and architecture advisors who have done this all before.

The future may be uncertain, but come rain or shine, there’s one thing we can be sure of—with OutSystems, you’ll give your digital insurance initiatives the agility you need, whatever the economic weather has in store.