FIS: Delivering performance and scalability
Robert Barg, vice president, solutions management and strategy at FIS, discusses how its solutions are responding to insurers' desire to have more computing power, analytical tools and data at their fingertips
What technology trends do you expect to shape the insurance sector over the next two years?
I would break it down into two areas. On the consumer side of insurance, the main trend we are seeing is the rise of insurtech.
With so many new insurtech firms entering the market, these digital disrupters are setting a new pace in the insurance market. They are especially fast and strong in areas where consumers have traditionally faced obstacles, such as settling claims and delivering insurance comparison pricing.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 has dramatically accelerated the move to digital for every generation, which will only continue.
In terms of the back-office trends within insurance, there are many to point out, from big data and predictive analytics to artificial intelligence and automation. But the big bang is coming from cloud technology.
If you look at emerging technologies as a whole, cloud is the one that underpins them all. It's thanks to the cloud that you can effectively store an unlimited amount of data – and use a massive amount of computing power to sift through that data.
Has Covid-19 stalled the pace of digital transformation in insurance?
When the pandemic struck, insurers had to quickly learn how to keep their business running with an entirely remote workforce. That shift required, and still requires, a significant investment in their systems.
Over the years, insurers have typically layered technology on technology, which means their systems are rarely designed for staff to work remotely. So, has the pandemic stalled some of the industry's digitisation efforts? Yes, probably in the short term, but not in the long term I would say.
How can FIS help insurers comply with regulatory developments, such as IFRS 17?
Whether you're talking about IFRS 17, US GAAP LDTI or Solvency II, most regulatory changes have the same underlying theme, in that they are moving from more rigid and static assumptions to increasingly principles-based approaches. That's causing quite a bit of disruption for companies as it involves a renewed focus on model building.
Insurers are now reviewing whether they have the right model building capabilities and governance for principles-based regulation – and how well they can manage their data and processes.
We have also evolved along the way. For example, a decade ago, Prophet was all about the calculations. Now, like insurers, we're concentrating more heavily on the end-to-end process.
As a result, our solution has grown to provide not only a calculation engine, but also a data repository – and even an integrated ledger. Whatever companies are looking for, we deliberately expand our solutions to match.
What enhancements will FIS focus on over the next year?
We're looking first at our solution's performance and scalability. As insurers use more and more computing power and data, so they are scaling up Prophet to levels we have never seen before. Now, we're aiming to accommodate this demand with even more advanced technology.
For example, on the data side, we have introduced a new distributed database to Prophet, which allows companies to scale up their data much faster.
The other area of focus for us is cloud technology. After launching a new cloud service earlier this year, we are continuing to enhance and expand our cloud offerings.
We have had a cloud offering in the insurance space for over five years now – and we see cloud technology very much as the future.
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