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February 12, 2024

How to choose an insurance platform modernization partner

An ideal IPM partner must be able to assess your current technology and identify modernization opportunities while also making business goals central and hitting ROI targets.

First the good news: There’s a solid reason why insurance platform modernization, or IPM, is taking the industry by storm. It can help a carrier take control of not only today’s cutting-edge technologies, but also our current demanding business landscape.

That landscape is rife with myriad challenges, including evolving consumer demands, regulatory compliance issues and rampant technology advances. IPM offers a true competitive advantage in driving business agility, innovation, simplification and risk reduction.

Now the not-so-good news: IPM isn’t easy. There’s no magic formula or silver bullet. More than a few carriers have taken a healthy shot at it and come away from the process less than satisfied, having spent considerable time and resources and seeing little return on their investment.

That is why savvy insurance leaders make a wise decision at the very top of the IPM process: They partner with an expert who has helped multiple insurers activate business transformation, led by IPM.

Insurance executives have definitive must-haves in their list of partner decision criteria, and the providers who can check all these boxes are the ones most likely to drive a successful transformation. How do you distinguish the best IPM partners from the rest? Look for the ones that perform the following:

1.    Conduct a technology assessment

A superior partner won’t shoot from the hip with a speedy solution. They’ll start with a full evaluation of your applications, capabilities and infrastructure. Further, they’ll deploy tools and tactics that optimize processes to improve operational efficiency, whether you’re moving applications to the cloud or keeping them on-premises.

In conducting their assessment, the best partners will:

  • Employ multiple business accelerators—such as capability mapping and value-stream mapping—to keep you focused on the processes that make your organization run

  • Check your technology for currency, remediation and rationalization, then align your tech assets with your modernization strategy

  • Help you manage your application landscape using a multiyear roadmap that first rationalizes non-value-add applications, then outlines a remediation path for technology, infrastructure and software
2.    Assess your operations for modernization opportunities

Migrating your legacy platforms and custom software to a cloud-native architecture should be regarded as a good start. A great partner can ensure that your organization goes a step further and automates everywhere it can, driving acceleration and predictable delivery via DevOps, tech operations and straight-through processing. The result: greater efficiency in every line of business, from underwriting and policy administration to claims and customer service.

They’ll look to modernize your data, too. The right partner can help you turn data into actionable insights. By sharpening your data analysis, you can gain deep business insights that enable you to target the right customers through the right channels with personalized offerings. And AI and machine learning can provide real-time dashboarding that leads to positive business outcomes.

3.    Focus squarely on ROI

A superior IPM partner will help you determine not only the highest cloud migration priorities, but also the expected return on your investment and the timeline required to achieve that ROI. Keep in mind here that generally speaking, the longer your modernization timeline, may lower your ROI.

4.    Lead with business goals

A superior partner will make sure that your IPM discussion is led by business objectives, not technology. This is key, because business transformation (and the insurance platform modernization that fosters it) should begin with identifying strategic business goals to achieve business outcomes.

No matter which area of your business you need to address—marketing, distribution, customer experience, claims, underwriting or other—the discussion should begin with the strategic business goals. Only then should you create the tech budget and implementation strategy that meets those needs.

To learn more on how to modernize your insurance platform to advance your business, visit the Insurance Platform Modernization section of our website or contact us.

Susan Rickard

VP, CTO and Innovation Leader, BFS & Insurance

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Susan is the Chief Technology Officer for BFSI at Cognizant. She joined Cognizant in July 2022 after 32 years in IT leadership roles at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Susan holds three US patents on, managing financial assets, a system to monitor water-related data, and to prevent hearing loss.

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