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September 26, 2017
Cloud computing technology helps “insure” a competitive future
By: Kamran Ikram

Disruption, driven by emerging technologies and InsurTech companies, is shaking up the insurance industry and fundamentally changing business models. By leveraging such technologies as the cloud, big data, Internet of Things, mobile, artificial intelligence, social networks and blockchain, the way insurance is bought and used will undergo radical transformation.

Traditional insurers need to quicken the pace of their digital transformation to remain competitive. And the fuel for that transformation can be the cloud.

Cloud makes sense for insurers for a lot of reasons:

  • Fosters speed and agility

  • Delivers attractive as-a-Service economics

  • Serves as the foundation for ongoing evolution

  • Provides security and resilience

Given these compelling benefits, it’s not surprising insurance executives increasingly recognize cloud’s potential. It’s helping them address longstanding challenges—especially, slow time to market for products and services, difficulty expanding into new markets, and an unwieldy cost structure.

Towergate Insurance turbocharged move to cloud enables digital transformation.

Europe’s leading insurance intermediary, Towergate has long pegged its growth strategy to a steady stream of acquisitions. But with no consistent method for integrating these acquisitions, over time Towergate’s IT landscape mushroomed to include hundreds of IT systems and applications that were “bolted” together. The company’s leaders knew they needed a drastically different IT operating model. The answer: Moving to the cloud to overhaul the company’s sprawling IT infrastructure and enable the business to consume IT “as-a-Service.”

Working with Accenture, Towergate embarked on one of the most ambitious IT transformations and end-to-end cloud migration programs the financial services industry has ever seen. The effort included not only moving Towergate’s applications and infrastructure to the Azure Cloud, but also deploying new telephony and network solutions and establishing a digitally enabled work environment.

Towergate’s transformation has paid off impressively. It has enabled the company to:

  • Achieve approximately a 30 percent annual run rate cost savings.

  • Improve user experiences with new tools, a single service desk, and enhanced self-service capabilities.

  • More easily collaborate across departments, thereby making the company more agile and responsive to customer needs.

  • Reduce IT incidents and outages by 75 percent since 2015.

  • Make better, faster decisions based on greater visibility into its operations.

Perhaps most importantly, the program has established a solid IT foundation that not only accommodates new acquisitions Towergate may make in the future, but also enables digital and business transformations that will strengthen the growth of the business.

Unlike in the past, when insurers typically saw cloud computing as a tactical approach to cost reduction, insurers like Towergate increasingly view the cloud as the cornerstone of their digital transformation. And many expect the cloud to have a significant industrywide impact. Insurers that want to achieve the agility needed to succeed in today’s business climate should make the cloud a centerpiece of their IT and business agendas.

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