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The insurance industry is operating in an age of radical disruption. Traditional insurers are no longer safe, with insurtechs challenging incumbents to rethink their business and operating models. 

The diversification of product offerings and ever-growing price competitiveness mean that customer expectations are changing faster than ever before.

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This mass disruption creates increased pressure on IT to deliver intrinsic business value. Never before has so much emphasis been placed on IT’s ability to drive digital transformation that enables new offerings and services, new customer touchpoints, and new experiences, while driving greater operational efficiencies and continuing to provide traditional business systems. With all of these growing demands, and delivery capacity remaining seemingly finite, it’s often difficult to know where to start.

It might sometimes seem easy to just roll up your sleeves and get started, project by project. However, many insurers end up creating new use case documentation, wireframes or proofs of concepts, integrations and services requirements, and a slew of other documentation every time to solve particular issues. Then when the next project hits, both business and IT teams are doing these things all over again which isn’t sustainable for IT departments.The real challenge lies in establishing a scalable way to remove this challenge. This requires an entirely new way of thinking and operating.

Think about it: if your first two projects were to launch a new online policyholder portal followed by the agent portal, aren’t there common systems, data, and logic on the back end to deliver the two projects? Why require fresh work every project? Why not build once, then leverage for both (and endless future) other projects? A wise CTO once told me, “if i take care of the back end, the front end takes care of itself.”

At MuleSoft, we work with over 1,400 organizations across the world to help transform their business for the better. We work with three of the top eight global insurance companies, helping install a new IT operating model that allows central IT functions to focus on creating reusable assets that empower lines of business to undertake their own IT projects. Doing so increases IT’s delivery capacity, making your business faster, more agile, and ready for change.

There are various approaches IT teams seek to deal with the strains placed upon them. Some opt for a rip and replace approach, or radical transformation of existing systems, whereas some continue to seek incremental improvements, project by project. Regardless of the size of your transformation, MuleSoft’s methodology is designed to minimize risk and maximize value of both.

MuleSoft’s methodology, API-led connectivity, is centered on a simple three-step approach that utilizes the power of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). APIs are an immensely powerful method of integration that enable the seamless flow of data between different applications, data, and devices across your entire enterprise. By using APIs, and starting to build what we call an application network, we’re able to unlock access to critical customer data, create connected customer experiences, and help insurance companies establish a more data-driven approach helping providers thrive in the age of disruption.

Step 1: Unlock data

Often referred to as legacy modernization. Legacy systems hold silos of data which are hard to utilize to your collective organization’s advantage, largely due to the lack of visibility in your data and logic caused by complex point-to-point connectivity. As your systems portfolio grows, so does your web of connectivity, meaning access to valuable business or customer data becomes increasingly complex. This step is about unlocking data using APIs to build a foundation for the flow of data across your enterprise.

Step 2: Build connected experiences

Now you have unlocked your data, you need to harness it to provide greater visibility of your customers. Creating a single view of the customer and using this to drive strategic decision-making is the key to creating an enhanced customer experience. By orchestrating data to give a single view of the customer, you can improve your service, and ensure that the user experience is consistent across all channels and platforms. This includes, for example, providing updates on a customer’s claim across both mobile and desktop.

Step 3: Become data-driven

Once you’ve started delighting the customer via the current service, you can now grow your offering. Using tools such as AI and predictive analytics, you can upsell and cross-sell more effectively, creating proactive rather than reactive insurance. You can offer unparalleled levels of service, and revolutionize your internal business processes.

Transforming your business is essential to survival in today’s insurance industry. Download A 3-step guide to insurance transformation to learn how to unlock data, build connected experiences, and become data driven.