IT deployment strategies for insurers

Infotech LeadAsia: Insurers are becoming receptive to forging partnerships with IT vendors and a handful of vendors are emerging as the preferred partners of these carriers.

IDC Financial Insights said enterprise vendors CSC, Oracle, IBM, and SAP, and specialist players 3i Infotech, eBaoTech, Mastek, and EAB Systems have established themselves as the preferred vendors of insurers in this region.

“Each of these institutions brandishes its own unique value propositions. IBM, for instance, is in a league of its own when it comes to the sheer range of solutions that it offers. It also has presence in almost every part of the insurance value chain. eBaoTech, on the other hand, boasts a track record in technology innovation and advancements, and has recorded stellar performance in its implementations,” said Li-May Chew, associate director for IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific.


Procure IT solutions from quality vendors, which may be a better bet than building them in-house: Unless there are compelling reasons to have solutions developed completely in-house, it is a much better strategy to obtain ready-made solutions from a vendor with good standing and outsource the systems.

Ensure that the selected solutions and vendors are in line with the overall long-term business strategy of the organization: Vendors are aggressively promoting their tools and solutions in the marketplace. There have been way too many instances where insurers have been swayed into purchasing inappropriate packages by vendors hawking offerings that boast the latest buzz words, or unnecessary bells and whistles. Therefore, insurers need to understand their requirements well in order to decide on a sound IT strategy.

Consider factors other than just the vendor offerings: This includes a score of other important elements like the ease of use of the technology; degree of customization required, if any; whether the vendors prefer to build their core insurance platform on multiple solutions or on one system; the vendors’ industry accolades, as these demonstrate end-user confidence and satisfaction in their offerings; the providers’ turnover, market share, and financial stability (these factors signify the resilience and stability of their business operations, invest funds in R&D, and withstand financial catastrophes), amongst others.

Retain a dedicated in-house IT capability even when outsourcing, and continually pay heed to the technologies that their fellow peers are investing in.

Meanwhile, vendors should explore emerging technology trends such as cloud computing and social networking, focus on evolving dynamics, reach out to underserved segments such as carriers in emerging markets or Takaful insurers, and, support fellow insurers in the creation of their own dynamic business framework.

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