Aon: Blistering speed meets zero-coding
How can Aon’s technology support insurers in the current environment?
Aon’s ReMetrica solution is unusual among risk modelling platforms as it is a genuinely zero-coding solution. As everyone is always trying do more with less, having a zero-coding platform means people are more productive.
Other risk modelling providers have tended to come from an actuarial/consulting background, whereas we come from an analytics support/broking background.
From the beginning, we designed the software so it did not require much consulting support because we were not trying to generate consulting business. This results in a lower cost of ownership, and I think people now are more focused on the total cost of ownership of technology tools. If you have to get consultants in every time you want to change something about a tool, suddenly it gets rather expensive.
What does your zero-coding approach mean in practice?
Once users start coding for large amounts of logic, this becomes a software development project, which requires proper software engineering techniques. None of this is required with our zero-coding approach.
We have enhanced our offering recently with the release last year of a dynamic model builder, which quickly responds to business needs – such as changes to business lines – without requiring any changes to the modelling templates. The dynamic model builder’s zero-coding approach empowers technical model builders to create reusable templates.
We use the dynamic model builder for our capital, reinsurance and retrocession models.
What other new trends are you responding to?
Another trend we are seeing and helping to lead on is cloud technology. Using the benefit of Aon’s IT infrastructure, we are able to provide cloud solutions. There are actually two use cases when it comes to cloud technology, and we support them both.
Firstly, you have users who already have a server inhouse but want to increase their computing power without all the IT hassle. Here we provide a hybrid computing approach where, at the press of a button, the calculations are distributed on the cloud and the results returned to the user. This has been popular with a number of users.
Secondly you have users who say we want you to provide everything out of the box including software and hardware – all supported by Aon. Our latest cloud implementation supports this. We are seeing a growing popularity for this approach.
Another major innovation has been a graphics processing unit (GPU) capability, which we launched last year and are busy fleshing out. That is a very impressive tool because it is more than 100 times faster than was previously available. For example in one recent case for a company with worldwide cat exposure, the GPU solution achieved a runtime of 67 seconds – instead of 2 hours previously. Using the GPU solution gives insurers increased opportunities to explore multiple scenarios and opportunities.
The GPU tool is currently aimed for usage in reinsurance and catastrophe reinsurance. However, we are extending that to cover more areas going forwards.
We are also working on a new capability called ReMetrica Web Edition, which basically allows people to use the software who have no interest in modelling, and just want to get the answer.
Risk modelling is a complex process, but we’ve simplified it for our users. There are no installation or maintenance costs and no need for IT support – customers can simply log in and get started! Our software will save time by automating calculations so that actuaries can spend more time focusing on what really matters – enabling the best decisions for the business.
As the name suggests, ReMetrica Web Edition is available on a browser and is hosted by us. There will be a lot more development on that and we see more of a movement towards web-based, cloud-based infrastructure.
How focused is Aon on climate and emerging risks?
We are keen to enable our clients to be resilient in the face of climate change. At Aon we are uniquely well placed to provide this as we provide both catastrophe models to model the physical effects, and financial modelling through ReMetrica to explore the financial implications. This includes risk mitigation from the effects of climate change.