How can insurers leverage automation to cut operating costs?
While it’s difficult to dependably drive underwriting profit, cost-cutting measures are well within insurance companies’ reach. There are four key ways that an automation solution such as a workload automation and orchestration (WLA&O) platform can help insurers slash operating costs—and quickly.
1. Harmonize disparate systems
As insurers modernize core systems and invest in new applications, most continue to use legacy technology in their core processes. Because these disparate systems typically cannot seamlessly communicate, IT staff are left with additional work, operational productivity slows, and costs rise.
For example, a P&C insurer that has updated their core systems to Guidewire InsuranceSuite may still rely on policy data housed in legacy systems to carry out claims processes. This means that, despite the core systems upgrade, a constant stream of IT tickets would be necessary to carry out the insurer’s business-critical processes.
A comprehensive WLA&O solution can harmonize these disparate systems, creating a single point of control for complex workflows that span multiple systems, regardless of the environment. As a result, insurance companies can both cut costs and unlock greater ROI from modernization.
2. Handle complex daily processes
Many insurance IT teams are so bogged down by business-critical tasks that high-level, strategic projects constantly move to the bottom of their to-do lists. An automation solution with advanced scheduling capabilities and enhanced sequencing flexibility allows IT teams to confidently offload those complex daily processes and (finally) turn their attention to strategic initiatives, such as streamlining IT environments.
For example, Noridian Mutual Insurance Company automated 800+ jobs with cross-platform dependencies that previously fell on Noridian staff. As a result of automating these processes that span modern and legacy systems, IT has supported the organization’s growth by taking on more work than was previously possible.
This type of productivity gain is far from unusual. In a PeerSpot review of WLA&O solution, OpCon, a Senior System Programmer for another large insurance company reported that WLA&O has driven a 10-15% increase in productivity across the organization.
3. Cut down on costly errors
Manual operations are prone to error, and basic job schedulers triggered by dates and times rather than events often encounter out-of-sequence errors that require manual intervention. Leveraging event-driven automation allows insurers to accurately run workflows in dependency chains, controlling previously unpredictable costs related to human or sequencing errors.
In fact, Noridian initially began exploring WLA&O solutions due to the unacceptably high rate of human error they were experiencing—along with downtime between jobs, the organization has seen errors fall considerably.
4. Uncover inefficiencies and unnecessary processes
All too often, insurance companies lack visibility into their processes. Because workflows span disparate systems and many processes (like the underlying systems, in some cases) are decades old, it’s difficult to visualize the job path.
Through flowcharting, a WLA&O solution can provide a single visual representation for a workflow that spans multiple systems. This way, insurance companies can identify unnecessary steps—or even wholly unnecessary processes.
By cutting out unneeded tasks, insurance companies can streamline their operations and shed senseless costs.