How Low-Code Can Help Accelerate Digital Transformation For The Insurance Industry

By Greg Gatherer, Account Manager, Liferay Africa

The insurance industry was once a bastion for slow, conservative business practices. But as other industries have either embraced digital transformation or have been radically upended by technology-driven startups, most insurers have realised that they have to follow suit. In a world where you can order your groceries and access massive libraries of TV shows and films from your couch, why should you have to meet with a broker to take out an insurance policy or make a claim?

As a result, many insurers have done a lot of work when it comes to digitally transforming both their internal and customer-facing processes. It’s hardly unusual, for example, for customers to be able to take out a policy, manage their policies, and make claims all from the same smartphone app. That makes the overall experience better for customers, making them more likely to stick with what is typically a grudge purchase. 

The transformation of internal processes, meanwhile, has obvious benefits for the organisation. Digitally transformed organisations are more efficient and profitable, more competitive, and more resilient. Those improvements further benefit the customer experience. The more functions are automated, for instance, the fewer resources insurers have to dedicate to those functions, allowing them to keep prices low. That’s to say nothing of the behavioural nudges (such as app-based monitoring of driver behaviour) which encourage people to behave more safely, reducing the need to make claims and driving further savings to the customer. 

But digital transformation isn’t just a once-and-done initiative. It requires ongoing effort, and that can only be achieved if everyone within the organisation has bought into a digitally transformed mentality. One way to aid that is through the use of low-code platforms. 

Low code and insurance 

In essence, low code refers to developer environments that allow people to build applications using graphic user interfaces. Whether they use snippets of pre-built code or simple drag and drop interfaces, these environments allow people with little to no programming experience to rapidly build business applications. 

That takes a lot of the heavy lifting out of the development process and also eliminates many of the time-consuming, repetitive tasks that application development typically entails. And because little to no coding experience is required to use low code environments, it also means that people from across the business can get involved in application development without putting consistency at risk. 

So, for example, if someone in the claims department has an idea for something that will make claim processing faster and more efficient, they don’t have to convince anyone to book time in the development team’s calendar. They can just build it and see if it works. What better way to accelerate digital transformation in an organisation than by making people feel like they’re driving that transformation in their own job functions? 

Low code can also reduce the time taken between getting customer feedback and adding new features to a customer-facing app. In a highly competitive space with new technology-first startups cropping up all the time, that kind of efficiency is critical. 

Benefits of low code

According to research conducted by Gartner, on average, 41% of people in departments other than IT or business technologists are responsible for customising or building data or technological solutions. Gartner also predicts that by 2024, more than 65 percent of all business apps will be built using low-code.

What are the benefits of low-code and no-code platform development?

  • Low-code and no-code solutions can cut development time by as much as 90 percent.
  • 80% of organisations report that empowering other users to develop has freed up IT personnel to focus on other activities.
  • Business units were 21 percent happier with lead times among IT teams utilising low-code solutions than among those without low-code.
  • 69% of  professional IT developers prefer to work with a low-code development platform.

Choosing the right platform 

Of course, not all low code platforms are created equal and insurers need to take care in ensuring that they choose the right one. 

Ideally, they should look for a low code platform that helps companies create, launch, and optimise digital experiences for their customers, employees, suppliers, and sellers. Alongside its low-code capabilities, it also should include content management, account management, analytics, commerce, and personalisation. 

It’s also important that the platform allows for greater flexibility. In order to do so, it should support low-code creation of custom sites and content, low-code customisation of users and accounts, and low-code creation of custom business objects.

Keeping pace with rapid change 

The insurance industry may be old, and some companies in the space may be resilient (South Africa’s oldest insurer has been in business for more than 175 years), but it must be adaptable. And in the face of rapid change, strong competition, and upstarts ready to eat traditional insurers’ lunches, ongoing digital transformation is critical to their ongoing survival. Utilised effectively, low code platforms can be incredibly powerful tools for accelerating that digital transformation. 

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