PERCEPTIVA

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Creating a competitive edge with API solutions

API solutions build customer experiences. For the insurance industry, this concept is no different. In the webinar “Creating a competitive edge with API solutions to build the experience your customer demands,” we learn that insurers must provide long-term value to their customers. They do this as they move towards digital transformation while they utilize more APIs.

The webinar was hosted by Digital Insurance and features guest moderator Pat Spear, Principal, Speer Content Strategy and Development LLC, along with speakers Mike Fitzgerald, Senior Analysts at Celent and Karen Holmes, Marketing Director, Financial Services Axway.

In the webinar, we learn that only a small number of insurers stated they deployed APIs on a limited basis. But the trend towards APIs is growing. As Mike discussed, “the insurance industry is changing and customer expectations are as well.” Customers don’t want to pay more than they must, yet, they don’t want to be left wanting!

API solutions

The insurance industry, like any other, needs to think long and hard about how digital transformation will help their customer experience. Simply put, they must “digitize to change and keep up with the demands.” Let’s face it, the pace of change will not slow down! As Mike pointed out, “research shows that business strategy is something that is strongly agreed up as changing.”

With change can come barriers!

As the song goes, “It don’t come easy.” Problems that pop up include existing legacy IT systems, company apathy (let’s stick the status quo), and a lack of buy-in from top-level management. It also includes a lack of investment and proper skill sets for the company, and inadequate communication and reward systems. As Mike discusses, “APIs can address existing legacy IT systems to meet customer demands.”

To address legacy barriers, you don’t have to rip out and completely replace the entire system. You can work around old systems to prosper. An example is Suncorp, a bank insurer that took digital transformation to the next level. Suncorp changed its business strategy in a move towards customer-centric needs. This enabled them to come together so their customers could get access to their information. They did so by building over 400 APIs to tie all their brands together. To do this, they used a management platform to go through an automated testing regime.

Risks

Security is always a risk in life—and with APIs, it’s certainly no different. Specific to APIs, with so much sensitive material within the insurance industry, you have to have strong security measures in place. This goes for identifying users to access authentication—all this needs to be managed.

Additionally, you run into reputational risk if you have problems which can damage a company’s reputation. API Management is needed to ensure better security measures are in place. According to Karen Holmes, “you need faster innovation to respond to digital disruption.” Furthermore, having better customer experience all around meets rising expectations, along with lowering costs.

In the end, IT must adapt to security threats. As Karen stated, “customers have big expectations. They want it in real time and want their claims processed ASAP.”

Axway AMPLIFY products bring great scale to API Management by managing B2B integration and mobile apps, Managed File Transfer (MFT), API Management, Content Collaboration and Analytics. The global API Catalogmakes API easily accessible and provides deployment across the spectrum with Cloud or On-premise. AMPLIFY delivers flexibility for today’s deployment API solution needs.

Summary

For the insurance industry, consumer expectations are on the rise. Companies must be able to compete to deliver the best experience possible. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the privacy of data doesn’t matter—because it does. Companies must invest in API Management to stay secure and be up-to-date with their technology.