By Neer Rama, Force Solutions Product Manager at thryve
Managing risks and insurance across a single business is difficult. To do so across numerous entities is orders of magnitude harder. The information has to be drawn from different stakeholders, each with their own capturing and reporting standards. Instead of an orchestra, risk and insurance managers end up with a lot of noise and not enough resources to find the hidden signals.
Creating unity across such different environments, using traditional IT, was futile. Prescribing processes to various departments is already an uphill battle, especially considering how often processes are ignored or set aside. Achieving this across different organisations that have some or complete autonomy always seemed just out of reach.
Policies are processed, and risk reports are generated. But those reports lack nuance or the ability to focus on specific areas for the sake of strategy. Insurance policies don’t fare better: they often leave a lot on the table and don’t generate efficiencies such as using group buying power.
Then the cloud came along. I don’t want to labour what makes cloud different, so I’ll discuss how it’s been able to deliver on unity and integration.
The cloud difference
Several of thryve’s clients faced the above scenarios and wanted improvements, but without rocking the boat. The previous way of creating such a system was to force everyone into the same approach, which never worked. Traditional IT systems are not flexible enough. These are also often old and differ wildly between entities in the group. Integration and aggregation of information were never technically feasible.
One of our customers, a pan-African conglomerate with numerous businesses in different sectors, needed to unify its insurance policies without disrupting the individual companies. Another group client gathers the risk exposure information from its collective annually, and maintains records of corporate insurance policies and claims within its financial institution insurance program – tasks that its business systems could not handle.
We deployed Riskonnect in both projects, powered by Salesforce’s Lightning platform. A platform is similar to an operating system: it maintains a variety of tools and services that support the applications that run on it, just as an application on a computer or phone relies on the underlying software. But it has the added heft, access and flexibility of the cloud. In this case, Riskonnect runs on Lightning.
Platforms have been revolutionary. They can create bespoke instances for different users and environments, yet keep their foundations stable. So they can be customised without creating the legacy, technical debt or lock-in that is parcel to older systems. Platforms make it much simpler to have a secure and reliable environment that also remains cost-effective and flexible. They are continually updated and improved. Above all, they integrate with different data sources.
These factors were crucial for the abovementioned customer projects. By leveraging Riskonnect and the Lightning platform, we could connect the different companies yet still customise their experiences to match their respective processes. We could plug into various data sources and capturing methods – Riskonnect can support different frameworks and scorecard methodologies. It then unifies the information into a single version for the risk and insurance managers.
Accuracy wasn’t the only benefit. Reporting can now happen faster, better and with more depth. The groups gained clear visibility of the risks and policies spread across their business landscapes. These were internal companies, but we’ve applied the model also to cover supply chains, third-party subscribers and professional bodies.
Making integration a reality
My headline claims that cloud-native applications such as Riskonnect and platforms such as Lightning have simplified complex risk and insurance environments. This isn’t accurate. Those environments were never close to an integrated and dynamic reality. Cloud hasn’t simplified these designs – it made it possible to create them. No complex management environment should ignore this potential.
Once you combine the right cloud service, implemented by a partner who has the experience and understanding to design the best fit for the business, it opens up a whole new world. Cloud is a revolution for unified data, dynamic reporting, and creating a single business view that everyone can use. In risk and insurance spheres, these were once pipedreams. Now they are affordable realities.