Before there were computer platforms, there were two other important platforms.
- A constructed riser that you stand on.
- A position you take, often political in nature.
Today's insurance platforms actually contain elements of both of these definitions. The system platform you build is the technical structure on which you will base your business. Your company will figuratively stand on it.
Your platform decisions are also open to opinion, although we would suggest that some of these decisions are too crucial to justify any argument. However, your opinion is important for how your organization will use the platform to conduct its business. Previous design materials were effective, but for today's digitally oriented customer and insurer, they are far too restrictive in terms of speed, flexibility and performance.
With this in mind, I want to share our perspectives on what a timeless insurance platform looks like. Although you may know each component we will discuss, the whole focus of the discussion is how these components work together to create a foundation for growth and innovation. We will also point out how they are built to last, with the flexibility to adapt and grow as the market and your customers change and change. You will find all these insights (and more) in Majesco's forthcoming Thought-Leadership Report, Insurance Platforms: The Digital and No Code / Low Code Platform .
Using platforms to engage customers [1
9659008] To set the stage, let's think about how we acquire and engage customers through different channels. In most insurance lines, we traditionally capture customers through agents and brokers. This can be likened to catching customers as you catch fish – with one rod and reel, one fish at a time through a large number of fishing agents and many casts between catches. Some insurance companies have established direct models where we capture customers based on their demand – they come to us to evaluate and buy – we try to attract them with "unique bait" that provides a convincing and simple experience. And there are partnership models where we reach customers in bulk through affinity groups or group / voluntary products via employers. This is like using a net – more that professional fishing companies can use in Alaska or Maine.
But what if we designed our business model, processes, products, channels and tracking so that fish, regardless of channel, would voluntarily engage and swim into small corporate lagoons without having to hunt so much? We can design products and channels that provide a unique, personal experience to suit the fish's swimming life, join currents and trends and offer what they need when they need it, wherever they are. But we need the right technology to support this varied journey and enable us to easily change course when opportunities or market changes occur.
The heart of the insurance platform is an orchestration of next-generation technologies including cloud computing, microservices, APIs, new data sources, model and metadata-driven, no code / low code features and artificial intelligence and machine learning, combined with a pulsating ecosystems of partners providing innovative or complementary products and services. This enables insurers to completely change the way they operate and fish. A unified combination of components enables insurers to switch from owning complex core systems to owning greater technical agility and flexibility, digital flow, innovation and speed to value that suits today's pace of change and suits today's customer appetite.  Seven Key Platform Components
To manage changing customer requirements, it is imperative that insurers use a digital platform that can provide speed, agility and cost-effective media to digitize, optimize and innovate – in other words, improve customer travel and Accelerate new innovations, while driving sustainable growth. This requires different technologies.
Cloud Native Services
What is not possible with traditional older systems is now possible with cloud distribution as long as the platform is architectured for the cloud and not retrofitted to run on external servers with architecture designed for expensive local distributions and upgrades.
"Cloud Ready", which characterizes the latter scenario, is commonly used to describe an application that can be distributed in a public or private cloud, while a "Cloud Native" application is purposefully built for the cloud using microservice architecture with DevOps and continuous delivery function with light infrastructure needs such as containers. The benefits of Cloud Native apps are many and include: [i]
- Updatability: Always up to date and available
- Elasticity: Can be scaled as needed
- Multitenancy: Can work in a virtualized space and share resources with other apps  Connected resources: Flexible network resource connections do not break if changes occur
- Downtime: Cloud redundancy reduces the impact of interruptions
- Automation: App management is automated
- Modular design: Allows functions to be turned off when not needed and updated individually
- Statelessness: Apps not linked to infrastructure
A cloud-integrated platform opens the door to new ways of doing business by interacting with customers and getting products to market faster and capturing rapidly evolving market opportunities.
A micro-service architecture philosophy is to design a service with a single function that can be distributed independently and would not affect platform ecosystems for services as long as the interface for the micro-service does not change. In simpler terms, we can characterize a micro-service as a “micro-application” that enables a specific granular business function such as payment, issuance, policy documents, FNOL, etc., which is loosely linked to other functions. The "micro-application" can be distributed independently and can also communicate through well-defined APIs with other "micro-applications" that serve other business functions. This approach stands in stark contrast to "Monolith Applications", such as policy management systems, billing systems and claims systems that act as a merger of several business functions closely interwoven and deployed as one large monolithic entity.
In contrast, a microservice architecture breaks down a large unit into fine-grained, stand-alone, stand-alone and independently distributable enterprise services that enable rapid change, enabling multiple daily change distributions instead of waiting for the periodic release cycle. With the help of micro-services in different apps, insurers can arrange a composite user interface that is a tailored customer journey that can be quickly improved based on customer feedback.
Model and Metadata-Driven
Over the past decade, many insurance companies have realized that they have grown out of their systems. Because insurers handle high data speeds and strict rules with a metadata-driven design method, not only is the system easier to use but it also reduces the time it takes to implement new data sources.
But what is metadata? To put it simply, it is data about data. Metadata plays an important role in investments in data storage, data extraction, BI, customer management, integration of business applications and knowledge management. [ii] A metadata-driven development model for building core system applications is a way to "future-proof" business applications and plays a major role in the insurance transformation, especially when the industry is transitioning to a platform economy.
a metadata-driven model is integration, reuse and automation. A metadata-driven model enables interoperability by enabling the exchange of data between many different platforms, data structures and interfaces. [iii] With a metadata-driven model, insurers get a solution that is flexible, uniform, easy to scale and maintain.
In this digital age, living platform ecosystems are the foundation for creating new value by combining different APIs. With the explosive growth of new data sources, InsurTech solutions, emerging technologies and more, demand and the need for integration are growing exponentially, creating additional complexity and often added costs.
An API first approach has dramatically changed this dynamic. An API is a set of programming instructions and standards for accessing web-based solutions. An API first approach has enabled many software companies to publish their API directly, so their partners can embed it in their solution to design and deliver a seamless customer experience. Amazon and Netflix APIs are some of the best known examples. They are used by other companies to link to Amazon and Netflix services with updated products, prices and content, directly from their own websites or apps, making it easy for customers to purchase.
As the number of APIs grows, the need to manage, control and secure them also becomes more important – and complicated. An API gateway is the core component of an API management solution that provides measurement, workflow management, and developer self-service. It sits between clients and apps and accepts and coordinates calls from clients to these apps, instead of clients sending requests to individual apps. An API gateway is an important tool for securing, scaling and accelerating API traffic between apps.
New Data Sources
Data is a strategic asset and a critical source of competitive advantage to identify unattended or underutilized markets and exploit profitable niches. , reduce or eliminate risk, drive channel optimization, improve service and improve customer experiences. By combining data from traditional internal and new external sources, the richness of the information can be improved to identify new business opportunities and make better operational decisions, which increases the gaps between insurance managers and those who fall behind.
The insurance industry has many established suppliers who have provided data for pricing, warranty, fraud detection, marketing and other important business activities. The InsurTech business increased the number and variety of data providers offering both traditional and new types of data. Many factors drive interest in and use of data providers, including better data for warranty, improving the customer experience and the need for large amounts of data for artificial intelligence training and machine learning models. The insurer must also have the ability to bring these different amounts of data together in one context in order to build insights in order to realize their competitive advantage. In the platform's business model, the insurer can get all the specific information about a person or a company that enables them to quickly set up a product and assess the risk that is specific to the customer based on their unique situation, region and risk profile.  Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the elective tool for many insurance companies and InsurTechs to streamline and simplify complex insurance processes. Its ability to solve traditional insurance problems is driven by advances in AI research, the explosion of new data sources and, more importantly, the massive, scalable computing capacity of the cloud. This must be an important focus area for insurers.
Most insurance companies are very familiar with the creation of predictive models and predictive analytics. Actuaries or actuarial services have been active users of these types of advanced analysis for a long time. With new out-of-the-box AI providers such as DataRobot and Gradient AI, even smaller insurance companies can now use the power of predictive models to improve operational decisions. Artificial intelligence and machine learning in the digital insurance platform create great opportunities for new sources of value for both insurance companies and their customers. Just some of the emerging features include: [iv]
- Behavior-based pricing and continuous warranty: Data streams from connected devices such as fitness trackers and cars enable real-time, usage and location-based pricing and warranty.  Improved customer experience: AI-powered chatbots offer streamlined, personalized interactions and algorithms provide faster insurance decisions.
- Personal Coverage: Customers can customize coverage for specific items, events, and time periods. driven damage processes resolve claims faster while improving fraud detection
Platform Transformation to Go
Are you ready to change the way you drive and fish?
While you may be using and integrating some of these technologies into your technology portfolio, you can use multiple solutions rather than a single digital insurance platform that can enable your digital transformation journey and integrate with your core platforms. Without this cohesive approach, you may miss the full potential of an integrated platform. The need for holistic change is greater than ever.
At Majesco, we encourage insurers to start with technologies designed to handle platform components, such as API-first systems, pre-integrated microservices, no code / low code, and data sources that are ready to "plug in" at a glance. Our Majesco Cloudinsurer® core and Majesco Digital1 pcs ® Insurance platforms are built for fast implementation, richness in functionality and they provide the flexibility to renew and engage the customer.For more information about the power of digital platforms, see to listen to a recent Majesco webinar, Digital Transformation Tipping Point: Digital Platforms Redefining a New Era of Leaders.
[ii] Rogers, Phillip G., "Building a the case of metadata in the company: look at models, architectures and business processes as building blocks for cost-benefit analysis and ROI, "School of Public Health, Instruction and Information Systems, UNC Chapel Hill, https://www.slideserve.com/albert/building-the- business-case-for-metadata-in-the-enterprise
[iii] "Metadata and its significance in a data-driven world," Villanova University, October 29, 2019, https://www.villanovau.com/resources/bi / metadata-importance-in-data-driven-world /  [iv] Zagorin, Edmund, "Artificial intelligence in insurance – three trends that matter," Emerj.com, June 10, 2019, https://emerj.com/ai -sector-overviews / artificial-intelligence-in-insurance-trends /