A roundtable attended by C-suite executives from leading insurance organisations indicates that legacy behaviours and processes are a major barrier to transformation, according to event host DevOpsGroup.
The 12 delegates shared the opinion that evolving how people work and the way systems interact is a complex challenge. Unless this is addressed, they say progress will stall and vulnerability to disruption or even a ‘mass extinction event’ in the sector will increase.
This view was consistent amongst technology leaders from insurers, InsurTechs, brokers and MGAs operating in specialty, life, B2C and motor insurance. However, many felt it was not acknowledged by fellow board members, whose legacy attitude that IT is a ‘cost centre’ rather than a ‘strategic enabler’, threatens to hinder business potential.
DevOpsGroup believes a combination of industry collaboration and practical guidance is needed to help those driving transformation in the sector. Boardroom apathy leaves the market wide open for those with a more forward-thinking approach.
Rael Winters, Product Manager at DevOpsGroup, coordinated the event in partnership with AWS. He says delegates have an appetite to take transformation to the next level, but are frustrated by their apparent lack of progress.
“Digital transformation demands entirely new ways of working, and it can be really hard to achieve this,” Winters explains. “Most of our delegates have a strong vision of where they want to be. They understand theoretical concepts like shifting to product-aligned operating models and introducing practices such as continuous delivery and lean product management. But when it comes to the detail of implementation, they encounter a lot of friction.”
According to Winters, incumbents can learn a lot from InsurTechs about using technology to improve customer experience and better understand risk. DevOpsGroup is committed to helping both InsurTechs and incumbents, recently joining InsTech to become part of a community that’s committed to insurance market innovation.
“Transformation is hard for any sector, perhaps even more so for insurance with its inherent aversion to risk,” says Winters. “That’s why InsTech is such a vital platform, offering inspirational and informative events that help organisations stimulate and maintain change. As Robin Merttens, InsTech’s co-founder, so eloquently puts it, what the industry needs is ‘do-tanks’ not ‘think-tanks’. It’s about focusing on practical engineering solutions and lean transformation where change happens in small, iterative steps. We’re keen to play a role in creating communities of leaders who are ready for the challenge and willing to learn together.”
DevOpsGroup offers engineering, training and consultancy services to help organisations achieve more from IT in the digital economy. More information is available at www.devopsgroup.com.