DQPro is lucky to have been recently joined by new Head of Sales Andy Jones, who gives us his perspective on the #DataConfidence challenges facing insurers as he takes his extensive software/SaaS experience and applies it to our sectors.
You don’t have an insurance background – can you give us a flavour of the main data challenges in the other industries you’ve worked in?
Every industry has its own challenges and opportunities, but there are often common themes that emerge. The obvious one is the battle with legacy systems. Everybody’s got them, so insurance companies shouldn’t feel embarrassed about that – it’s how you move forward that counts.
The second is that data and information get locked in specific systems. This is a common problem across many industries, leaving many companies feeling stuck between a rock and hard place of being unable to get the most out of their data, or else facing an onerous process to free it to get that value out.
The third is a similar and related problem of systems being “stuck in the back office” so that other teams and departments – particularly the business side, commercial teams – can’t get the best use out of them.
For the second and third points, the result can be data silos building up and an inability to get different systems joined up and talking to each other. This can put your business at a disadvantage commercially, particularly if competitors have put their ownership and oversight of data front and centre in their strategy.
What are your first impressions of the insurance industry’s data challenge?
It’s been an interesting few months for all. There does seem to be a general sense of anxiety to solve or evaluate the status quo in certain areas of the data landscape. Naturally this does seem to differ somewhat from organisation to organisation.
More positively, there seems to be a real bubbling of change in the market, which I’m told was not always there, or so widely experienced. I think the industry is driving ahead with initiatives that have been on the ‘back-burner’ for a while.
There’s a real appetite to do things better and to have more confidence in data and use it more wisely. And because there are some new players and start-ups, they are investing in technology from day one to ensure they ‘get it right’ from the get go.
Do you think the insurance sector could learn lessons from the other sectors you’ve worked in when it comes to digital transformation?
Absolutely. They can take advantage of other sectors’ experiences of what worked and what didn’t work. This also provides a greater sense of reduced risk, and greater accuracy in terms of understanding return on investment and the time to value. There’s a lot of cross pollination and learning opportunities available from outside the insurance sector, and I’m looking forward to bringing these insights to our insurance clients.
What has surprised you most so far about the re/insurance market and its digital transformation agenda?
I heard a comment recently from another insurance tech provider that I think sums it up well – “Carriers aren’t rewarded for being right, but for not being wrong.”
The market is changing and evolving fast. Not only that, but the pace at which it’s happening is accelerating, so the gap between the front and the back of the pack will only get bigger and bigger. The organisations that don’t take advantage of the returns technology can yield will be left behind.
Putting data at the heart of the Future at Lloyd’s plan is a critical step – if our market can get a grip on the fundamentals of data confidence and oversight, the future is bright indeed.