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Top Three Insurance Data Integration Trends

Financial services organizations, especially insurance providers and affiliated partners, are under constant pressure to operate more efficiently while complying with a variety ofregulatory guidelines. In order to ensure smoother operations and offer delightfulcustomer experiences, carriers rely on a number of external partners. Be it credit reporting, sharing data with statistical data organizations, or sharing data with third-party administrators, the seamless connectivity and flow of data are essential to insurance business processes.

However, the smooth flow of data between disparate partners is becoming an increasingly difficult task to accomplish in the era of digital information. Insurance carriers are contending with multiple sources of information, and each partner has different requirements in terms of integration processes and technical expertise. As integration for financial services grows increasingly complex, CIOs at these organizations should look to the following trends in the coming year in order tostreamline transactions and improve ease of doing business.

1. There is no “one size fits all” solution

As the integration landscape for insurance providers grows more complex, it’s clear that there is no “one size fits all” solution. Instead, carriers should start thinking about taking a hybrid approach. Hybrid integration combines on-premises application and data integration platforms, iPaaS, iSaaS, and API management as well as self-service provisioning.

Related White Paper: Six Secrets for Building a Great Hybrid IT Integration

The hybrid integration approach allows businesses to choose the tool that best fits the people performing the integration, whether they are integration specialists, ad hoc integrators or business users taking integration into their own hands. It also takes into account the time to value, or how soon the project needs to drive value, as well as security requirements.

As insurance providers work with many partner agencies, the ability to be flexible and adaptable when it comes to insuredata integration can significantly cut down on the time it takes to process claims.

2. Adopt an API first – as opposed to API only – strategy

As more business operations for insurance carriers become digital, organizations will have to also contend with the Internet of Things (IoT) and integration solutions that will work in our increasingly connected world. In fact, through 2018, half the cost of implementing IoT solutions will come from integrating various IoT components with each other and backend systems. For insurance carriers, this may include wearable devices such as smart watches or wristbands that can qualify employees for personal health insurance discounts, or, connected cars that provide insurers with data on driving habits to assign customers personalized risk scores.

While many CIOs may default to APIs when it comes to IoT integration, APIs alone may not always be sufficient. APIs still require coding and backend integration, and often the time and resources required to outweigh the potential benefits if the partnership turns out to be relatively short-lived. APIs are a good starting point, but businesses should look to scale toward a hybrid integration platform in order to meet diverse integration challenges as they arise.

3. Successful companies will take a bimodal approach to IT

As the term “bimodal” implies, in order for companies to successfully navigate this era of digital transformation, IT needs to be able to operate in two modes. The first represents traditional IT and emphasizes process, stability, safety and accuracy. The second mode embraces modern IT practices and emphasizes agility and speed.

A bimodal approach is especially critical for insurance providers as IT must be agile enough to quickly respond to business needs in order to remain competitive in a digital world, but also remain in compliance with both industry and federal compliance requirements. Carriers that can performinsurance dataintegration tasks with speed and accuracy within the guardrails set in place by IT on the backend will be best equipped to navigate the digital transformation.

As insurance providers contend with a rising number of sources for digital information from a number of different partners, the ability to seamlessly share information will only become more important. By taking the above trends into account now, CIOs at these organizations can lay in place a solid foundation on the backend in order to facilitate data sharing, and as a result, better, faster customer experiences.