The benefits of microservices in insurance

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In a recent insurance survey, 90 percent of respondents claimed that in five years, consumers will do most of their insurance purchases through online and mobile apps. Yet, while the insurance industry is slowly but surely embracing digital transformation and making smart technology investments, getting the returns they want means they must surmount the hurdles of legacy systems and running applications still using decades-old programming languages.

If insurance companies are to catch up with today’s more mobile and tech-savvy customers and not lose market share to the so-called “insurechs,” they need to digitize - and fast. Digitalization will enable them to provide customers with real-time information whenever and wherever they are and equip the modern agent with new tools and applications to maintain productivity in a mobile environment - allowing them, for example, to offer instant policy quotes.

Slow-moving legacy systems can’t cope with today’s fast-changing insurance landscape. You have to adapt and evolve in record time to create a seamless customer experience while improving employee productivity to remain competitive and increase customer retention.

By implementing microservice-based APIs, you can extend those insurance backend systems to mobile, web, and cloud rapidly, and cost-efficiently, all with low risk. By using APIs, you:

Accelerate Digital Innovations
Microservices breakup monolithic legacy applications into smaller, independent business processes. Application programming interfaces (APIs) can then be used to open up this data from legacy systems so developers can use it to create digital applications for mobile, the Internet or cloud. Organizations can bypass complex existing architectures, access systems of record directly, and get it all done with Java programmers using familiar, open-standards tools.

Ease the Pains of Digital Transformation
Disparate applications, an out-of-date IT stack with legacy systems layered with decades worth of middleware, or different application platforms like in-house and cloud can slow transformation. Moreover, critical business functions involved in the integration - claims management, policy management, document management, and other applications like CRM, finance and accounting - often don’t perform well when ported to the cloud or mobile devices.

Using APIs and microservices to modernize your service offerings results in better performance. Microservice-based APIs are connected directly to the legacy system, so they bypass middleware layers and can perform faster.

Succeed where past transformation options failed
According to a recent article, most attempts at digital transformation fail to meet or exceed expectations. In fact, just a meager five percent of such efforts succeed - a paltry number compared to the proven payoff of such a transformation.

Organizations have tried several different ways to make their applications more responsive to business-driven changes. However, these options, while initially promising, failed to produce the outcomes they wanted. APIs and microservices proved that they can be built cheaply, tested quickly, and integrated without much change to the pre-existing legacy application. Because they’re modular, insurance providers no longer have to choose whether to integrate or rip-and-replace an obsolete service.

Further, APIs and microservices allow you to be:

1. Customer-centric: You can provide a seamless, personalized, and effortless customer experience by integrating an intuitive user interface containing data and processes from disparate systems and applications across the organization;
2. Mobile-centric: You can give customers and employees anytime, anywhere access to the information and services they require; and you can do this across devices, locations, and applications;
3. Innovative and agile: You can support rapid business and technical innovation, implement new business functionality and user interfaces quickly to stay ahead of the competition, and introduce new business models such as direct-to-consumer and independent agents and brokerages.

Thanks to APIs, the insurance sector, like other industries, can look forward to solving common challenges with legacy mainframes, midrange systems, and applications, and provide customers with the more modern and advanced applications they have come to expect.

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