How Your Software Vendor’s Cloud Journey Can Drive Increased Value to Your Organization

Not all software vendors think of themselves as being on a journey with their customers. Many, if not most, communicate their releases as single data points with little vision toward the future. While it’s easy to look at the most current version as the best version ever, what would happen if vendors instead looked at the long-term view of their platform?

Guidewire was founded in 2001 with a question based on a very simple premise: Which P&C insurance companies would be willing to embark on a long-term journey away from home-grown core systems? We started with a single product: ClaimCenter. And 17 years later, we have a multitude of software products across the range of core, digital, and data and analytics functionalities. All of those products—and the decisions that led to their creation and ongoing development—were a part of our journey.

Insurance Evolution

What is a journey exactly? At its core, it means moving from a start to an end. In Guidewire’ case, that end is always advancing. We think of it as the best version yet—with more to come. In the world of Guidewire Cloud™, that means the journey is accelerating through our fast cadence updates: twice a year instead of every four to five years on average (presuming many customers upgrade every other major release).

In my short time at Guidewire, I’ve seen a relentless focus on our customers’ needs and the role that insurance has in our world. What’s primary is our commitment to helping our customers solve their customers’ problems during some of their most challenging periods. The world of insurance is constantly evolving, whether it’s the underlying risks themselves or the way the market looks at them. So why wouldn’t software vendors think about the evolution the same way—as something that’s never quite finished and always provides an opportunity to continue improving?

It’s easy to ask, “What does the journey have to do with my company?” Since Guidewire reinvests 35% of its product revenue back into its research and development efforts, that means our customers also shape the direction of our journey. It also means that each of our Guidewire Cloud customers will specifically shape that journey, and those that make the commitment sooner will have more influence on how we evolve.

Guidewire’s Journey to the Cloud

Guidewire Cloud is the newest phase of our journey. It’s less a departure from the way we have done things before, but rather a new evolution of our company. We’re becoming increasingly dynamic, more customer-centric in our product and delivery model, and deeply focused on delivering innovation even more quickly into the market we so intensely care about. To succeed, we’re re-architecting almost everything we do, we’ve made a firm commitment to success in the cloud, and we continue to invest in our customers’ future—and our own. Fully 100% of our products are cloud-ready, and many of them are already cloud-native. We actively manage, maintain, and upgrade them on behalf of our Guidewire Cloud customers.

Our first customers in 2001 trusted our team during the first stage of our journey. Will you be the next customer to shape where Guidewire Cloud evolves in this new phase of our journey?