One Size Fits All? Not for Global Insurers

Paul ParkerAs global insurance companies move to common IT platforms and applications, they have come to the realization that a “Company Layer” to handle enterprise-level capabilities such as common data for reporting is essential for global operations. These organizations are driving to lower overall cost, promote efficiency and standardization across the global enterprise. Barriers to this realization include regional specific regulations, different cultural standards, conflicting business processes, data, and system to system communications. These challenges are made even more difficult when carriers struggle with regional needs compared to overall corporate goals. 

Selection of Guidewire insurance products provide the fundamentals to build towards this goal. Guidewire has provided the common look and feel across its whole platform of products. Each Guidewire system has a core set of screens, business processes and data models. So by design a global insurance company implementing Guidewire products across different geographical areas is an enabler for a common set of processes, user experience, and data.

Let’s look at the components that lend themselves to a “Company Layer”:

  1. Business processes – each system has a core set of built-in business processes common to almost all insurance carriers regardless of geographical region. Begin by aligning with the core Guidewire Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) business processes, then adapt or modify for regional jurisdiction/cultural requirements for different operating entities. The flexibility that the solution offers enables you to easily create local processes that dovetail perfectly into broader enterprise-wide processes.
  2. Data model – alignment of the data model across the products provides a means for comprehensive corporate reporting, starting with the OOTB data model overlaid with global-level data requirements for data warehouse and reporting. This will provide a baseline for adding jurisdictional data requirements without complex or complicated data transformations for corporate-wide reporting.
  3. Integrations – an integration framework that supports communication across enterprise-wide platforms provides common security, messaging, error handling, and design patterns that will simplify the architectural landscape. Allowing global organizations to lessen the impact to changing enterprise back-end applications/systems. This approach simplifies the deployment and reduces overall maintenance and cost of ownership.

Achieving this level of commonality is complex and requires global oversight for processes, architecture, and data. A robust program governance needs to be established to cover all of the business, technical, and data architectures. Creation and adoption of the standards for development, data architecture, business process re-engineering are essential components to achieving this goal. Global configuration and change management for processes, codes, and data models need to be established and all operating entities need to adhere to this oversight. The benefits of this approach would not only result in a cost savings, but enable comprehensive reporting and reduced maintenance across the global organization.