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Insurance organizations can reap benefits and stand out

Speed to market is a huge advantage in the highly competitive business of property/casualty insurance. Establishing an early market position with new products and applications, supported by nimble technology infrastructure, can drive significant growth and brand awareness.

Even with today’s modern core systems that deliver their capabilities through RESTful APIs, product agility is often hindered by the pace of development of the digital transactional portals that are intended to drive product distribution, which can take months.

One of the ways that insurance organizations can benefit from the trend toward no-code application development frameworks is the acceleration of this process, reducing the time to market for new digital applications and improving scalability by reducing dependence on experienced full-stack application development architects.

 

No-code development frameworks are growing exponentially for the simple reason that they are far more efficient than building and supporting a custom framework. As every technology executive and developer knows, JavaScript frameworks are only the starting point when building a framework for a development team. Significant time and effort are needed both for the initial framework creation as well as for the ongoing maintenance each time UX technology and devices change. Furthermore, most custom development frameworks still rely on traditional software development lifecycles. Even using agile processes, it takes time and effort from experienced developers to translate requirements to a technical design, code, test and then deploy applications. No-code frameworks offer a ready-built starting point for development and speed up the SDLC by ingesting APIs, automatically creating entity data models, leveraging reusable templates, wizards and drag-and-drop tools, and moving most tasks to business analysts and UX designers, who generally understand an application’s business objectives better than programmers.

Consider the analogy of a commercial office construction project. The faster contractors can erect the building, the sooner the owner can occupy it and commence productive work that produces revenue. Putting up a building brick by brick or board by board is time-consuming and calls for artisan-level skills. One way to accelerate construction is to use prefabricated or modular components that fit the building’s design, such as cross-laminated timber or concrete panels, which don’t require as many skilled contractors. The efficiency of this approach is catching on globally in the construction industry.

No-code development frameworks are similar to modular construction, offering components that go into place quickly and don’t require the tech equivalent of master stonemasons or carpenters. As my colleague Michele Shepard, chief revenue officer of Insurity, wrote recently: no-code frameworks empower “citizen developers” within companies to deploy technology solutions and let professional developers focus on driving value in more complex projects.

Advantages for insurance firms
Here are five key advantages that no-code digital experience frameworks can offer to insurance industry IT organizations:

Speed to market.
Simply put, application development speed is the most widely requested capability by CIOs in the insurance industry. Accelerating the release of new products or changes to existing applications can easily mean success or failure for a new initiative as well as accelerating revenue growth.

Reduced reliance on “rock star” developers.
Talent in every area is in high demand, especially in technology. Insurance organizations are competing for technical resources along with many other industries, and talented UX developers, especially those that have an understanding of the business and can manage the integration of different APIs, are difficult to find. No-code frameworks allow business analysts and designers to take over much of the application development project, leaving developers and architects to focus on the most complex technical issues and helping companies scale their IT operations more easily.

Ease of documentation.
Most development teams produce inconsistent and incomplete documentation on their applications, particularly when pressed to meet deadlines. No-code frameworks and API ecosystems combine to automate the production of technical documentation, which not only saves time on the initial build but also avoids future maintenance headaches.

Flexibility.
No-code and low-code frameworks are easy for developers to use. A growing number of API ecosystems for the insurance industry as well as the broader business world have emerged and, with a no-code framework, they are easily accessible and interchangeable, allowing insurers to mix and match to produce unique applications.

Future-proofing.
One guarantee about the future of UI is that it will continually evolve. That evolution is occurring at an increasingly rapid pace. DOS to Windows took about 15 years, while the evolution from Windows to web forms took less than 10. The evolution to web API and JavaScript frameworks was about seven years and those frameworks are now changing every few years. Today, we’re also seeing adoption of voice response with the proliferation of digital assistants, and augmented reality is nearly ready for primetime. While no-code platforms offer some insulation to these disruptions by simply isolating the UI application layer, the best frameworks help to insulate organizations from changes in UI technology by abstracting away the concepts of individual UI controls, letting users focus instead on the business functionality that is required. This helps applications incorporate and leverage new UI technologies quickly and easily, without the re-writes to which IT organizations have grown accustomed.

In 2018, Insurity unveiled a digital enablement solution with a no-code framework, DigitalXPerience Studio, that gives clients the power to create their own unique user interfaces to deliver a differentiated customer experience. Our no-code framework makes it easy for insurance organizations to unleash their creativity and integrates seamlessly with Insurity’s RESTful APIs. To learn more about how no-code frameworks can make a difference in insurance, please visit www.insurity.com.