SAAS considerations for insurers
Stuart Blyth, director at SilverBridge, discusses the considerations that need to be taken before implementing software-as-a-service (SAAS) solutions.
With the drive towards digitalisation becoming a business priority, insurers need to investigate how best to adopt new solutions within their organisations. Stuart Blyth, director at SilverBridge, discusses the considerations that need to be taken before implementing software-as-a-service (SAAS) solutions.
Of course, few insurers can afford to 'rip-and-replace' their existing infrastructure to make way for SAAS. Instead, there are several elements that will determine how SAAS applications can be implemented within the organisation. These include the current systems and infrastructure, integration with legacy systems and other applications, the security of data, cost of implementation, change management, and the impact on existing processes. Business also needs to take into consideration the location of the servers, regulations around customer data, and the network infrastructure.
"Smaller start-up insurers have the benefit of more easily embracing SAAS and level the playing field with a faster approach to what a larger traditional organisation can do. They are not as reliant on legacy infrastructure and their processes are more easily customisable to the requirements of the digital age," says Blyth.
"In the past, an insurer had the luxury of time to roll-out solutions or to change its business approach. However, in the fast-paced environment of the digital world, this is no longer the case. Just take chatbots as an example. Last year nobody was looking at them. Today, we are anticipating them becoming fundamental to customer service as their popularity starts growing on platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp. So, if a company is not looking at these solutions now they are at risk of being left behind."
However, one of the biggest obstacles surrounding implementing SAAS remains the traditional thinking in the decision-making process.
"SAAS is not an IT decision but a business one. It drives the organisational strategy with IT there to assist. Yes, technology is the enabler but business needs to make a case for going the SAAS route factoring in all the pros and cons of both current systems and new [SAAS] ones."
According to Blyth, irrespective of the solution being considered, key business objectives need to be kept in mind and checked throughout the project to ensure they are being met.
"These need to be scrutinised with the help of the IT team. Things like service level agreements, the ability to use data analytic tools, a pay-per-use model, and scalability according to organisational needs must be addressed."
The path to SAAS is not smooth and will not be without challenges. However, if the transition is to succeed, there needs to be buy-in from all decision-makers inside the organisation spanning business and IT.