The unprecedented amount of legislation and regulatory change taking place over recent years has put a disproportionate amount of strain on the systems and operational capabilities of insurance companies. This strain has led to many short term “mend and make do” IT solutions to solve the problems of the businesses they support.
This short term view has built up a bow wave of sticky tape solutions that has created a problem of their own and will still need to be addressed in the near future. No one is blaming the beleaguered overworked IT departments of the insurance industry, for taking this stance. How else could they cope with the additional strain of the legislative requirements on top of business as usual? However, it cannot be ignored that as we race toward the bright future of the new world adviser and client empowerment post-RDR (Retail Distribution Review) the service delivered by the insurance providers will be a paramount decision in provider selection.
Relying on systems that are in many cases over 20 years old will not do in this fast paced, information on demand, 24/7 industry we are becoming. So what is the answer? Gone are the days of complete system replacement costing many millions of pounds. What we are seeing now is a demand for point solutions designed to solve specific industry problems whilst addressing the discreet areas of each providers’ business operations, be that agency and commission, or the at retirement market. Many existing IT solutions will not be able to cope with the fluid requirements of the industry driven by consumer demand for greater levels of transparency, simpler products and a need to react to industry trends at a faster pace than coastal erosion!
Breaking down the problem into bite sized chunks is the only way to address 30 years of systems’ neglect and deliver the service and products that the modern consumer will demand.
What do you think? Has sticky tape solutions caused more problems? Let us know in the comments below!