flexible, moDeRn teChnology
Accenture’s survey of professionals representing 50 P&C insurers
revealed that catastrophe response—among other capabilities—is too
often hindered by subpar claims technology environments. We can
thus infer that successfully handling the frequent and increasingly
severe natural catastrophes (which climatology experts predict) will
require widespread technology upgrades and, in some cases, total
here is what Accenture’s survey respondents had to say:
K 54 percent report that their core systems are more than 5years old.
K 78 percent say they are on a path to upgrade their systems.
K 66 percent readily admit their claims systems are not optimized to
collect and analyze data.
In addition, 78 regard their capabilities as “inadequate to manage”
emerging risks, such as those presented by cybercrime, terrorism, and
severe natural catastrophes.
size and scale
In addition to enabling faster speed to
market, cloud levels the playing field. “It
[cloud] gives smaller companies the ability to look bigger by giving them access to
technology on par with bigger players,” says
Bob Hirsch, director at Deloitte Consulting.
Seeking a CRM solution but with limited time and IT resources, Alabama-headquartered Alfa Insurance turned
to the cloud-based RightNow solution
(since acquired by Oracle), deploying the
platform in 2009. Alfa was able to go live
within six months of initial research into
a CRM platform.
“It would have taken us at least 24 months
in a traditional installation, and I am not
sure if that would have even been enough
time,” says Susan Adcock, vice president of
marketing resources. “We wouldn’t have
been able to commit to a new system at all if
it wasn’t a cloud-based system.”
A cloud deployment also keeps Alfa
current with the latest platform upgrades.
“It’s nice to get technology improvements
and enhanced features without having to
purchase new equipment, software, or
upgrades. No IT staff is required; the sys-
tem administrator works with the RNT
[Oracle] staff to set up a production test
environment and, after testing is com-
plete, we roll the upgrade into produc-
tion,” Adcock says.