No-Code / Low-Code Insurance Software – What’s Behind the Buzz
What can financial services learn from bees? That was one of the questions asked (and answered) at a webinar hosted on behalf of FintechOS that focused on no-code/low-Code (NCLC) technology in the insurance sector.
No Code is a revolutionary paradigm that allows non-programmers to create applications using a graphical interface, rather than typing out lines of code. Low code is a similar framework, yet involves a small amount of coding and therefore offers developers even more power.
Gartner predicts that NCLC development will account for 65% of all application development by 2024, whilst Forrester claims these platforms are 10 times faster than traditional development techniques.
The webinar on July 8 2021 was called No-Code/Low-Code Technologies – What’s All the Buzz About? and chaired by Will Watling, Director – Life & Pensions at the financial services firm Altus. After Will set out some of the benefits of NCLC platforms, the audience also heard how FintechOS solutions were being used to drive ambitious digital transformation at a Tier One insurance company.
Will said: “The market for no-code/ low-code software has developed significantly over the past 20 years. The IT industry has always demanded ways to build systems more rapidly and with the least amount of coding. The advent of the internet saw a whole range of opportunities to do this through collaboration and sharing services, whereas beforehand you would have had to build each separate application individually.”
The advent of NCLC has made life “quicker and easier” for developers, Will continued.
“The recent development of cloud services has led to expansion in this area, leveraging Azure, Amazon Web Services and similar solutions offering scalable, powerful infrastructure at the click of a mouse,” he added.
“If you’re still in the mindset of using teams of developers around the world to develop applications, then perhaps now is the time to consider how no-code or low-code platforms could help you save enormous amounts of time, cost, and effort.
“We know of some very large FTSE 100 providers, for example, that are quite stunned by proof of concepts that have led to a complete revolution in how they develop business solutions. Projects that used to take years and cost tens of millions of pounds now take months at a fraction of the cost.”
Low-Code/ Sky-High Possibilities
The webinar coincided with the release of a white paper setting out the considerable advantages of NCLC technologies. The benefits of these platforms include:
Shadow IT: This term refers to employees writing their own ad-hoc workaround applications. NCLC platforms can help problems around Shadow IT by making it easier for employees to develop their own apps using pre-made building blocks while ensuring their creations fit in with governance requirements.
Speed and Cost: By removing the need for laborious coding, NCLC platforms accelerate the delivery of applications to the business. NCLC reduces the cost of delivery compared to a traditional software development cycle, meaning ROI is achieved more quickly than traditional solutions.
Standards: Prebuilt components are already compatible with standards such as App Store requirements, so updates or new applications can be quickly deployed across channels.
Cloud: NCLC platforms are typically hosted in the cloud and therefore provide the resilience, scalability, and security of Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) solutions.
Citizen Developers: When using no-code development platforms, ordinary employees without coding skills are empowered to create applications.
“I think everything boils down to the benefits of time, cost, risk and flexibility and ability to innovate,” Will added.
No-Code? No Problem…
FintechOS provides NCLC solutions to clients in banking and insurance, allowing them to draw on pre-built modules to create new services, journeys and products at speed.
To illustrate the capabilities of our platform, Jason Thackeray, FintechOS Digital Consultant, spoke with Ian Guest, Director of Ether Introductions, about their work with a Tier One insurer that is looking to expand its business into new areas of insurance.
The insurer is working with two third-party administrators: the MA Group, which specializes in property claims, and SBS Insurance Services, which focuses on contents.
These two TPAs needed a merged system that could work across both companies whilst also syncing with the larger Tier One provider.
Working on behalf of the insurer, Ian Guest chose FintechOS to deliver this complex system, which was rolled out in a matter of months, rather than years. It was built using an NCLC platform, allowing the client to take ownership of the system and develop it further in the future.
Ian said: “I chose FintechOS due to the flexibility of the platform, which can easily change to deal with a myriad of changing requirements. The second aspect which informed the decision was the understanding of the insurance world that FintechOS bought to the task. You often have an IT provider that’s fantastic at the delivery but doesn’t understand the nuances of financial services, insurance and regulations.”
Hiving Off Business
So what have bees got to do with insurance and NCLC tech?
The beehive analogy comes from how “these systems knit things together” and work as a “colony”, Will Watling explained.
He added: “Beehives look quite similar and are stacked with different layers. The first layer is the hive, where the bees live. These bees fly in and out of the hive, telling their colleagues where the best pollen is by doing a waggle dance. The value to the colony increases as you go up the hive. On the second layer is the brood and royal jelly, whilst on top of that is a short-term honey store and then a long-term store above that.”
A similar structure can be seen in NCLC systems. At the bottom lie base capabilities, such as Apple or Android apps, widget libraries, or collections of APIs. Above this is the “brood” made up of specific financial services applications such as claims, underwriting, and policy valuation.
Then atop this layer are UK-specific capabilities, with the long-term honey storage representing annuities, mortgages, equity release, drawdown, and other capabilities.
This layering of value is analogous to a beehive where the value of the honey increases towards the top of the hive. The greater the focus on UK Financial Services, the greater the value to both the NCLC vendor and the Financial Services provider.
No-Code and Low-Code platforms bring some of the efficiency of beehives to businesses – with no waggle dancing required.
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