With the exception of insurtech, it’s generally accepted that if you work in the insurance industry, getting change projects through is fairly slow. The desire for business transformation and scaling up any existing process automation technology is there, but whether as a result of legacy systems which tend to be siloed by department, outdated resourcing and technology policies, or layers of decision makers and stakeholders, operations and innovation managers can often find it difficult to effect real change.
In larger organizations in particular, projects that should take weeks to complete often take months, and those that should take months can sometimes take years. And this isn’t including the lead time on getting the necessary approvals and budget.
Many of the process automation solutions in the market, regardless of sophistication and capability, don’t solve this problem for insurance companies. Even if they can get you to implementation stage relatively quickly, they don’t provide the quick scale up and flexibility that is really needed for true business transformation.
Software as a Service (SaaS) changes all that. What does this term mean? SaaS is simply business software that is hosted in the cloud and built and managed by a third party. It’s usually provided and paid for on a subscription basis.
No lengthy implementation projects
But what’s really great about it is that it allows fast implementation of the service it’s providing. With process automation, this means that once you’ve decided on the processes you want to automate, the rest can be done without the need for additional infrastructure – as long as there’s an internet connection you can simply set everything up within the online interface. You can design the processes to be operated by digital workers and then once the processes are live, monitor progress and intervene only when alerted to exceptions that the digital workers haven’t yet learned.
Getting up and running can still take time, but it involves clear steps that can be completed much more quickly than with a non-SaaS solution.
Minimal IT resource
Another positive is that there is little burden on the IT department in terms of human resource or capital expenditure beyond the licence fee. SaaS means no hosting is required by the client, whether on-or-off site. There are no software updates to be installed as this is done by the supplier, and user support is also provided by the supplier.
Built for business users
SaaS requires far fewer people to be involved in the implementation. Where normally there would be a host of stakeholders involved: project managers, business analysts, AI or RPA consultants, business partners, finance, marketing, underwriting, claims etc; with a SaaS automation product this can be scaled back considerably.
SaaS platforms are built to be used by anyone in a business, not just those with technical knowledge. This means that training on the system is faster and processes can be set up and run by a larger pool of people.
One platform built for scale
Usually SaaS products have been created for one department or use case, such as Xero for accounting, or Salesforce for sales and marketing. However, a SaaS intelligent automation platform is a single subscription that can be used by multiple departments across the business. This is because the digital workers within the software which perform the processes are multi-skilled, cloud deployed and can perform a variety of tasks — anytime and anywhere.
For an insurance company this means that any process from HR to underwriting, claims or customer experience can be automated within the platform, ensuring that scaling up your operation is simple and painless. Once you’re running successful automations for existing processes, you can then move on to creating more innovative uses for the platform.
Using SaaS, any process automation project timeline is significantly reduced, and cost savings are made – or more accurately cost outlay is avoided - even before the automations are live.
This is crucial for insurance organisations who are in the midst of 2020 budget planning. When looking ahead to a year with many challenges, including regulatory demands, the changing balance of power towards the customer, and changing economic and political markets, intelligent automation of processes through a SaaS platform is a great way to maximise rather than sacrifice human resource.
So, if process automation is on your agenda but getting it implemented looks like an uphill hike, have a chat with Thoughtonomy about how we could get you up and running quickly on our SaaS platform.