Continuing on from my previous blog post where we discussed the current annuity environment and why legacy systems are not meeting annuity providers’ needs, in this post we’ll talk about the characteristics of a modern annuity system and its significant benefits.

What does a modern annuity platform look like?

A modern annuity platform must support multiple product lines or capabilities, including variable annuities, fixed annuities and payouts. It should be able to adapt to growing complexity by enabling business users to make changes rapidly, possibly through the use of prebuilt or “out-of-the-box” templates, and it must offer a flexible and efficient testing environment so that a product designer can easily analyze, modify and confirm the behavior of new products and features.

The benefits of a modern annuity platform

Such a platform can deliver significant benefits:

  • Reduced costs and improved efficiency: The configurability of a modern platform helps cut costs while improving the overall efficiency of the business.
  • Improved customer-centricity: A modernized platform can help overcome product silos and interact with customers through a variety of channels with a customer-centric operating model that promotes self-service.
  • Faster speed to market: Platform modernization lets annuity providers modify existing products and launch new products more quickly, in some cases reducing the time to market from months to weeks.
  • More accurate pricing: A modern system can help annuity providers better understand risks by providing more sophisticated analytics of product values and customer trends.
  • Straight-through processing: A modernized system should support straight-through processing as a standard. To stay competitive, real-time integration across annuity providers’ eco-systems is the only way to deal with the expected volumes and the efficiency required from the provider. It is surprising to still find business environments that are based on manual intervention as a result of IT constraints.

A modern annuity system can pay big dividends, but does modernization require a wholesale replacement of legacy systems? In the next and final post in this series, we’ll look at three routes to a modern annuity platform.

To learn more, download the report: Modernizing Your Annuity Platform to Reduce Costs, Improve Customer Service and Increase Business Agility (PDF, opens in a new window) written by my colleagues, Mitchel Ludwig, Accenture Life Insurance Platform Product Line Lead, and Jim Reynolds, Accenture Life Insurance Platform Product Manager.

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