Insurance technology is an interesting adventure. You can’t easily change the system that you use when to record and manage the policy that you sell. It’s unlike banking, where you can swap out the system. At Prudential we have a system that has celebrated its 50th anniversary and it runs well every night. It’s called AOS – Advanced Ordinary System, build by Prudential, written in Prudential COBOL.
But customers are demanding a very different way of working today. Everything needs to be available online. Customers don’t necessarily want to have to talk to you, preferring to transact online. So we need to take the old technology, free up the data in it and present it with new tools. It’s a mix of old and new. So insurance technologists have the problem of finding the money or funding to get new technology while maintaining the old. And the old tends to cost more than the new.
For me, the biggest challenge is keeping technology fresh while still having the old technology that you need to interface to. It presents difficulties with regard to architectural design.
With regard to what’s real and not hype, you cannot exaggerate the importance of the customer experience is hard to exaggerate. The customer wants to use whatever tool at whatever time he or she chooses – maybe an iPad now, a mobile phone in an hour, and a desktop computer tonight. Customers want easy interfaces; it is no longer acceptable to tell customers what they must have. That’s no longer acceptable. Everything is customer-driven today – and that’s a good thing.
Table of Contents: IIR February 2014: CIO Survivors
Profiles in Longevity: