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From obstacle to opportunity: overcome obstacles for the cloud




Although migration to the cloud is a must for most APAC insurance companies, it does not mean it is easy. Central to the process is understanding the barriers that stand in the way of a smooth cloud journey (many of which differ from barriers experienced by American and European colleagues) and creating a strategy to overcome them.

While many of these barriers apply to APAC composite insurance companies, the truth is that they are more of a challenge for life insurance companies and those providing complex P&C lines. Insurers with simpler P&C books or with less complex operations usually have these obstacles easier to deal with.

Removing obstacles

Click / press to read the full report. APAC insurance companies and noted that they are particularly concerned about regional players operating in several markets. (In this blog I will deal with insurers headquartered in Japan separately.)

This whole market approach is why I consider data residency as the key barrier – as many APAC countries have tailored storage and / or rules or processing of client data. Balancing these regulatory variations makes central migration to the cloud more difficult for APAC-based insurance companies than for their peers in, say, the United States.

This data residency challenge is also related to another aspect that my White Paper examined: whether insurers are better off choosing a single-cloud provider or a multi-cloud provider. The reason why APAC insurers often consider a multi-cloud strategy is that they have to take into account differences in data-related rules. In many cases, hyper-scalers are simply not yet present in all markets.

Older infrastructure

Other important obstacles for APAC insurance companies include business IT adaptation, regulatory and compliance factors, the complexity of applications and skills gaps. Of greater importance to many is the inheritance barrier, by which I mean the backend policy administration system – the applications that sit on outdated infrastructure, and which many APAC insurance companies are still working on.

Such infrastructure is increasingly expensive, difficult to maintain and makes it difficult to quickly launch products on the market. It also slows down susceptibility, undermines efficiency and impairs the ability to take advantage of cross-market opportunities. (Digital decoupling from older systems is also a challenge for many US and European counterparts. This Accenture blog provides a useful guide to important steps.)

One of the difficulties in managing older systems is that they often keep books. of companies going back decades. Another is that they have been tailored to operate in APAC's multi-market region and for the regulatory needs of these markets. All of this contributes to the challenge of migrating to the cloud – especially for insurance companies with a regional footprint and for those with complex older policies, which are often written on COBOL on the green screen and kept on AS400 or mainframe platforms.

The good news for APAC insurance companies is that cloud solutions can solve the challenges of managing older infrastructure. In this way, insurers can distribute cloud solutions as they slowly relax and begin to migrate and modernize. Although complete dismantling of older infrastructure is a long-term project, short-term solutions are available in APAC.

One such example is provided by Skytap, which offers a short-term migration option for lifting and shifting to Microsoft Azure. In this way, an insurance company wishing to leave its private data center can do so while considering a long-term project to modernize its backend platform.

Japan and obstacles

I mentioned Japan earlier and said that the situation for insurance companies with headquarters there differs in some respects from their APAC peers.

Among the factors specific to Japan are: its market is highly developed; the interest rate environment differs from many APAC countries; and there are well-known workforce and specific regulatory challenges.

In addition, insurers headquartered in Japan typically have massive business books. This makes it more difficult for cloud-focused executives to easily justify the business case for the journey to the cloud.

In my opinion, these complexities explain why many of Japan's major residents have been more conservative when moving to the cloud.

Reach for the Cloud

When I'm late, I'll end by saying that readers who are interested in understanding why we think it's absolutely necessary to move to the cloud can read more about this. [1]

In addition, this report shows why it is a transformation game that sees insurance companies take advantage of cloud ecosystems while providing scalability and efficiency and ensuring that they can benefit from resilient and adaptable systems. [2]

In short, migration to the cloud can help APAC insurance companies address many of their existing challenges, with several short-term lift-and-shift options available to those who want to get their journey started. at triggers that motivate customers to move to the cloud and show how insurance companies can go from one trigger, or archetype, to the next when creating a smooth cloud journey.

To download a copy of The Cloud Imperative for Insurance Report – Silver linings: Cloud Migration for APAC Insurers click here.

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Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information only and is not intended to be used in consultation with our professional advisors.

[1] The Cloud Imperative for Insurance, Accenture (2020). See: https://insuranceblog.accenture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Accenture_Cloud_Imperative_for_Insurance_Blog.pdf
[2] Cloud Ascent: Cloud is the urgent business imperative: how to maximize its value, Accenture (2020). See: https://www.accenture.com/hk-en/insights/cloud/ascend-to-cloud

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