The COVID-19 pandemic has shown North American insurers that remote working can lead to increases in productivity and efficiency gains. But it’s also highlighted deficiencies in current technology infrastructure and organizational culture. That means it’s time to take a good hard look at exactly how to best support the future workforce. 

If insurers want to deploy a physical and digital hybrid workforce and a location strategy that allows for maximum flexibility and employee choice, they must: 

  • Develop the technological tools and infrastructure to support a scalable and agile workforce, while also managing the security and confidentiality of records and documents. 
  • Compete for and acquire talent with the right skills. 
  • Maintain workers’ good mental health, job satisfaction, productivity and efficiency. 

Is cloud the answer? 

A year ago, when we reported on our Cloud Readiness Survey in Insurance, we suggested that insurers adopt technology strategies to support working in the post-digital age, and that the cloud could play a pivotal role. A year on, we see the adoption of cloud capabilities as a critical turning point. Insurers can either take the opportunity now to embrace the cloud, placing themselves in a better position to meet business and workforce challenges, or stay on their current course, potentially lagging their peers. 

Why do we think the cloud is so important? Our experience working with insurers shows that those that have implemented cloud capabilities see many benefits. Migrating infrastructure and software to the cloud reduces IT “run” costs and technical debt. And it enables scalability on demand. 

Using a robust cloud infrastructure also lets you speed up technology enhancements. It makes business operations more efficient by reducing IT “change” costs, enabling service center enhancements, reducing rework, and reducing system lag and down times. 

In addition, cloud platform solutions further accelerate and de-risk business improvements. Some areas where we’ve seen success include claims optimization and enhanced agent/employee journeys for renewal retention and new business. 

Guidelines for a cloud journey 

For North American insurers that want to take advantage of all the benefits of cloud capabilities, we offer the following guidelines: 

  • Move non-core applications and functions to software-as-a-service (SaaS) on cloud. 
  • Re-host high volume, scalable functions on infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). 
  • Establish a modern cloud-based data infrastructure to take advantage of data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. 
  • Use platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Microsoft, Amazon, Alibaba, Google (MAAG) innovation to power advanced products and services. 
  • Apply a digital decoupling approach for other legacy technologies, such as for reducing mainframe data processing to reduce MIPS usage. 
  • Perform rapid migration, guided by a value path that we can help define based on our industry experience. 

Now that insurers have adjusted to the reality of a remote workforce, it’s time to develop a roadmap for lasting change—to sustain and build on the productivity and efficiency gains experienced in the last few months. Cloud capabilities should be a key part of the agenda. 

View the Cloud Imperative for Insurance deck below to learn how other insurers are putting the cloud to work. 

Click/tap to view the Cloud Imperative for Insurance report.

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