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Enhancing Operations with Managed Services Partners
August 25, 2017 | Manish Khetan and Amit Tiwari

In the era of InsurTech, emerging technology and the connected enterprise are market forces prompting traditional insurers to evolve and reinvent themselves. And while insurers have historically been resistant to being on the forefront of technology-driven change, many are accelerating their focus on the opportunities, rather than the uncertainties, that today’s technology transformations portend.

Insurers are faced with new challenges, affecting policyholder service, product and distribution strategy, company culture, the nature of the today’s workforce, and the cadence of technology-enabled operations. Chief Officers, Manish Khetan, chief strategy officer and Amit Tiwari, chief technology officer at Xceedance, recently examined the hurdles insurance organizations encounter in adopting emerging technologies, and how industry-focused managed services partners can help bridge the gap of expertise and operational dexterity. As they explain, “Today, managed services providers can tailor and deliver a strategic approach or “DATA” model (Differentiation, Agility, Transformation and Automation) for insurers determined to advance and win in the age of InsurTech.”

Amid today’s fast-moving data and technology environment, insurers are faced with implementing emerging technologies, building a culture of innovation, and improving processes, workflows and results. Without the technological expertise to meet these demands, many are, understandably, devising durable and flexible strategies. In this light, Manish and Amit explain, “managed services partners provide an easy mechanism for bridging the widening skills gap, while also enabling a discrete environment where insurers can test emerging technologies against products and processes without necessarily impacting downstream results.”

The traditional insurance business models are constantly evolving in the era of InsurTech. Today, hybrid operational models offer new entrants a level of flexibility that traditional insurers may not have enjoyed in the past. The success of new start-ups in implementing new models serve as sharp examples for the need to adapt and evolve with the times. As Manish and Amit point out, insurers increasingly recognize that, “the business-focused managed services partners can productively supplement the internal resources or act as a knowledgeable surrogate resource, providing knowledgeable talent without the need for extensive investment or training.”

Arguably the biggest hurdle for insurers is modernizing technology and processes to enable more personalization, self-service and transparency; as well as to transform traditional thinking across the enterprise around customer centricity. Manish and Amit note how this represents a shift from previous ways of doing business as “for years, insurers have been applying patches to legacy systems, and tending to technology modernization as an ad hoc priority.” Nevertheless, today’s insurers can share some of this new burden — and effectively relieve much of their anxieties — by turning to industry-focused managed services partners.

Such partners bring expertise and focus on speed-to-market for new business, new products, and new service paradigms. This support and expert guidance is critical as “insurers are taking cautious steps towards introducing emerging technologies — including telematics, robotic process automation (RPA), augmented reality, machine learning, blockchain, IoT and drones (TRAMBID).” In many cases, such receptiveness to change has paid off, resulting in increased efficiency, new sources of data, cost-savings, and better accuracy.

The authors reiterate that the traditional brick-and-mortar business mentality is fast evolving, and insurers are beginning to acknowledge and embrace the value of modified business models, technologies, distribution channels and strategic partners. Managed services partners such as Xceedance can provide insurers a measured gateway to modernization, incorporating talent and expertise, not only with new technologies, but also with best practices, processes, and regulatory considerations.

The experience and success of Xceedance clients on four continents demonstrates the value of an industry-expert managed services consultancy. In such a relationship, insurers have the low-risk option to decide when to accelerate or decelerate the engagement, depending on prevailing priorities and expected outcomes.

Read the full commentary here.

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