How to realise the Future at Lloyd’s

The Future at Lloyd’s Blueprint One, the plan to transform the market, has been covered widely by City of London insurance pundits, but there is still a long way to go before we know what it looks like.

The Blueprint represents a decisive moment in Lloyd’s of London’s history in that it is a break with previous attempts to modernise the London Market. This is not another LM TOM. Delivering exceptional value to customers means that the focus has to be on customer service. Improving efficiencies is also clearly important, but it can no longer be the sole focus. Success will be contingent on a paradigm shift in the market and that alone makes this a very exciting time for it.

The scope of the Future at Lloyd’s challenges the way in which technology has typically been developed and deployed for that market. In the past, software has been developed by niche suppliers, creating solutions specifically designed to support or replicate manual or asynchronous central services and data.

To fulfill the ambitions of the Future at Lloyd’s Blueprint successfully, this approach of using specially made solutions should be abandoned. The problem with creating tailored solutions for Lloyd’s is that as soon as they are released, they are out of date. Time and time again technology has been launched into the market to help it catch up, only for it to immediately fall behind again. This problem of perpetually creating legacy solutions has been a handbrake on innovation in the market which must be removed.

The success of the Future at Lloyd’s is largely contingent on whether the reforms can guarantee the market’s global position. Blueprint One expressly states that the objective is for Lloyd’s to become “the global marketplace to buy and sell insurance.” Whilst Lloyd’s is a nuanced market in which to operate, to continue to thrive at a global level, the market and those operating within it need enterprise software that works at a global scale.

There might be those in the market who believe that a specialist insurance market requires specialist insurance software, but this is not the case. Modern software platforms are now built with flexibility in mind. Through the use of APIs, accompanied by an ecosystem of specialist technology partners and insurtechs, the market can take advantage of an app store experience to leverage specific capabilities where required. As such, global software platforms can be tailored to the specific needs of Lloyd’s whilst also being able to adapt to future changes; this in turn will encourage future innovation.

The other big opportunity for this market is how it can take advantage of the migration of data and applications to the public cloud. For Lloyd’s to do this on its own would be a complicated and time-consuming business and seemingly unnecessary when global enterprise software platforms are already capable of supporting public and hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Blueprint One sets out an exciting future for the London Market. However, for the ambition to be realised there needs to be a departure from the old ways of innovating. Successfully transforming this market so that it has data and technology at its core will not be easy, which is exactly why Lloyd’s should call on the very best expertise and innovation available to it from across the insurance landscape. If Lloyd’s of London wants to be a global player it will have to look beyond EC3 for its technology as well as its business.

This was published originally in Finextra

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