#GuidewireConnections: Unleashed vision and intense purpose

software-upgradesComing off the heels of #GuidewireConnections, I find myself in deep reflection of all that transpired and what was learned at this conference. I really believe it should be considered one of the leading industry events held worldwide. The goal of the conference – bringing together top insurance executives and service and technology providers to address current and future global insurance trends – was clear from the beginning.

The conference contained extensive collaboration by customers and providers to share their innovative approaches and experiences with a common goal of propelling the insurance market forward. It was all capped off by a strong message from Marcus Ryu, CEO of Guidewire Software.  In his closing remarks he addresses the “5 Trends that are reshaping the insurance industry”.

  1. Rising digital expectations: “Insurers face an inexorable rise in digital expectations, as exemplified by the fact that from half to two-thirds of adults in the developed world already use a smart phone and the number is rising.”
  2. Decline in personal auto risk: “The largest P&C risk segment—personal auto—is suffering an inexorable decline, which cannot fail to have profound implications for the industry”
  3. Non-traditional competitors: “Aggregators such as com, white-labeling retailers such as Costco, Wal-Mart, Overstock and others, and Google… start with the premise that they are the logical owner of the customer relationship because of their brand strength or because they are present at the point of search and sale”
  4. New insurance-relevant technologies: “In principle, being able to attach a device to a risk and capture data from it continuously should affect every aspect of the insurance lifecycle from product definition to pricing and underwriting to policyholder service and claims”
  5. New categories of risk: “The most discussed opportunity is in cyber insurance, which is still in the low single digit billions of premium globally with only 14 percent of U.S. companies having any sort of coverage”

All five of these trends will also force insurers to look differently at how information is collected, managed and processed. Technology needs to adapt to new formats and types of information. The speed in which information can be handled and processed will be key. Integration between information management systems and core systems will be more critical than ever. Guidewire’s approach to providing accelerators like the OnBase integration for Guidewire InsuranceSuite® with its technology partners will continue to be the best practice approach.

We, as leaders in this industry, must continue to be thought leaders and remain ahead of the wave.  Change is occurring thick and fast, more so than any of our predecessors have ever experienced. And it will continue to change in ways that have not even been thought of yet.

Also very apparent at the conference was the importance of cooperation across the technology partners and their desire to bring together a single platform that is agile and flexible. This supports the rapid change that continues to influence the insurance industry.

The future of insurance

Adoption of these highly integrated, interoperable, best of breed solutions is key to survival.  Gone are the days when core systems are only upgraded every few years. To be a leader in the new normal, insurers must shift their mind set and plan for more frequent technology refreshes.  To do that and to be successful, insurers can no longer afford to take the role of system integrator. In the future they are going to need a technology stack that provides a complete solution and is easily upgradable with the lowest total cost of ownership.

I am proud to lead the Hyland, creator of OnBase, Global Insurance team. It is part of the network that will influence and protect the future of insurance. We will continue to invest in developing solutions that go beyond just an accelerator. That what our solutions are is more than just an integration and will hold true to our commitment to make a difference. We will continue to work with technology partners like Guidewire to drive transformation for an industry that is so important to society.

Ruth Fisk

Ruth Fisk has more than 25 years of experience working within the insurance industry and is a foremost expert on the practical application of EDMS technology. In her role as Global Director for Insurance at Hyland, she has travelled to more than 90 countries helping insurance organizations to successfully reduce operating expenses, increase efficiency, and positively impact their bottom lines.

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