Walk the Walk!

Most if not all of us were raised believing you say what you mean and you mean what you say. But somehow, this seems lost when it comes to technology implementations today. In survey after survey, and article after article we read that what companies want are Cloud, Mobile, SaaS, and BPaaS solutions. Legacy systems are problems. Technology leaders want to modernize and become agile. Well that’s what they say anyway.

In a Gartner 2012 CIO Survey, cloud computing was ranked among the top five priorities for insurance CIOs.  In that same survey, 38% expected to run more than half of their transactions on a cloud infrastructure before the end of 2015 and 31% estimated that more than half of their transactions would be based on software as a service (SaaS). That sounds impressive doesn’t it?

Somehow, between that dream of a modern connected world and the antiquated systems of yore, we let the dream die, failed to take action, and just continued with business as usual hoping our competitors didn’t do anything either. They think that maybe they can squeak out another year … or two … or ten.

Is that any way to position your company in a growingly competitive marketplace? Can IT continue to maintain the status quo in the hopes that everyone else decides to do nothing as well? Do you really want to pin your future on inaction and big talk rather than taking that step and modernizing to prepare for the future?

Each and every day, insurance CIO’s are making crucial technology decisions from core solutions to deployment options that shape their companies’ strategic abilities and the future of the company in general. Each action and decision has a direct impact on that future … and inaction is an action.

Cloud is the perfect example. If we go back, the concept has actually been around since the 1950s in the era of mainframes and dumb terminals according to Wikipedia. It’s also been traced back to a 1969 concept by J.C.R. Licklider, founder of ARPNET, ComputerWeekly.

Think about it … one main computer providing the programs and information to terminals distributed around multiple locations. Sure the technology has drastically improved and the modern Internet has made it faster, more powerful and reliable and more affordable but it’s still the cloud concept. It’s an idea that got a makeover and new name like someone on a “CSI …“series.

I guess we can say that, even as much as cloud is cutting edge, it’s been around a long time just as hosting, SaaS and BPaaS deployment options have been.  The big difference is the technology, both the applications and the infrastructure, which make these options so much more powerful, affordable, and transformative.  Why aren’t insurance leaders taking action, taking advantage of the capabilities and enjoying the efficiency, flexibility, agility and financial benefits?

Many leaders talk the talk. But are they ready to walk the walk? It’s time now, as we continue to find new and innovative solutions to our technological and business needs to choose, implement and prepare for the future and that means doing something impactful, future-ready and innovative rather than perpetuating legacy paradigms.

We hear and read about these visions of the future that include more fluid, agile organizations with robust core insurance software, analytics and BPO solutions, that are leveraging these new deployment options.  Together the solutions and deployment options are helping insurers respond to change, enabling them to move from fixed to variable cost structures and embrace new opportunities to empower innovation and success.  These leaders are rethinking their core solutions along with deployment, making visions into realities.   We need more insurers embracing these new deployment strategies to be future-ready, rather than just perpetuating what we have been doing for years.

The future is now!

We are on the brink of an exciting new era as companies take advantage of new technologies and delivery options to reinvent themselves, create new levels of competition and be “future ready”. The only thing that is standing in the way of progress is inaction!

Are you ready to take that first step in the walk?

Denise Garth is the executive vice president of strategic marketing and industry relations, and global head of market strategy for Innovation Group North America.  She can be reached for further comment or information via email at garthd@us.innovation-group.com

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