By Paul Webster · September 19, 2022
5 minute read

Is no-code enough to support the insurance industry?

Is no-code enough to support the insurance industry?

No-code platforms are becoming common across most markets. Yet, Paul Webster argues no-code is not enough for insurance.

Scroll down the FintechOS home page and you see reference to our no-code/low-code Innovation Studio and its ability to empower non-technical teams to bring products and services to market at speed.

Paul Webster, Insurance Presales Manager, FintechOS
Paul Webster, Insurance Presales Manager, FintechOS

On that basis, you might think it strange that I am questioning no-code as a concept. After all, it was one of the many reasons why I joined FintechOS, following many years working for more traditional Policy Admin players.

What’s not to like about no-code? Who wouldn’t be attracted by the opportunity of being able to build something using only drag-and-drop visual tools and configuration editors? The concept certainly sounds great to me, especially if you can build rapidly.

However, more and more, I’m talking with insurance organizations who are encountering challenges in relation to this approach.

Confused? Well, let me explain.

Is no-code enough?

No-code-only solutions can indeed be great at rapidly turning a concept into a reality. Yet, is this enough to support each insurer’s uniqueness; their special sauce; the ingredients that make them special?

The challenge is that these no-code solutions are, by design, generic in their nature, even the insurance-focused ones. They typically only cover 80% of an insurer or managing general agent’s (MGA) requirements out-the-box.

This is because no-code platforms tend to use a limited number of templates to create software. Now, this is often fantastic to showcase a prototype or minimum viable product (MVP), but for more-complex use cases, it can often be too rigid and restrictive to produce the desired results.

Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, insurance can be inherently complex, and therein lies the problem.

As David Gritz, managing director of InsurTech NY states:

Typically, no-code solutions tend to cover, let’s say, 80% of the most common use cases[, so] you have to build capability.

iPipeline’s Chris Nicholls is more confident on the percentage split, suggesting a 90% fit but still acknowledges that a risk with a no-code platform is you may “need to do something you can’t do“.

The test comes in delivering the remaining 20%. When no-code solutions started operating, they would try to plug this gap by enhancing their core platform to cater for individual organizational requirements, but as their customer base and its demands grew, it started becoming unsustainable.

MGAs are frustrated with no-code

I spoke with one UK MGA, which told me that the core enhancements needed to plug their specific gaps were on a two-year roadmap of engineering requirements. These were getting moved up and down based on their relative importance (and probably size) compared with the no-code vendor’s other customers.

As Charles Darwin once (allegedly) said:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

Two years means lost opportunity and the initial advantages of using no-code are gone. The answer to this is to compliment a codeless approach with low-code. Hence the phrase no-code/low-code.

It’s an overused term, but if done right, it can deliver the best combination of allowing non-technical users to quickly launch new products and services to market, while ensuring that you can continue to design and tailor the platform to support the ever-evolving intricacies of your business.

The FintechOS approach

At FintechOS, we’re passionate about empowering the Digital Maker economy. We believe in facilitating a high-productivity financial infrastructure (HPFI) that can encourage the democratization of innovation to a collaborative community of different roles, partners and users. The ability to enable companies to deliver innovation at speed is at the very heart of what we do.

That said, we also promote the low-code, as well as a no-code approach without apology. We recognize that insurance can be complex, and the right tools are needed to equip an insurer to be completely in control of their own destiny.

Embedding the ability to inject logic or script in the right places offers agility and flexibility. If designed properly, it also ensures that the insurer can always remain evergreen and on the latest platform version. Governance, version control, and audit, yes, but no bastardization of source code and being stuck on an island removed from the core software roadmap.

Digital glue with a no-code/low-code approach

If you can add in the ability to wrap functions and capability blocks into consumable application programming interfaces (API), you then have the “digital glue” to connect your existing estate with your platform of innovation. Meanwhile, the no-code/low-code approach gives you speed, agility, and importantly, the flexibility to tweak the technology to exactly fit your own needs.

Don’t get me wrong the advantages of no-code are there for all to see – cheap, adaptable, and quick – and I’m sure the adoption of no-code technology will continue to increase up to a point.

However, pure no-code vendors may end up asking themselves whether there is benefit in investing in going the extra mile in plugging the 20% gap in capability their no-code approach has, or whether indeed it is more effective for them and their customers to simply keep some kind of coding capability.

To find out more about our no-code/low-code platform, book a demo.

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