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Product Incubators – Leverage Microservices to Test Product Demand

On May 14, 2019

Traditionally the launch of new insurance products has been a large undertaking as it requires both business and IT resources and, in some cases, shifting organizational priorities.  In addition, building and deploying these new products is both risky and expensive.

Cloud-based microservices should be leveraged to develop a “new product incubator” that enables organizations to deliver and test the market for new products faster with reduced risk, minimum disruption to the production environment, and with less investment required.

The 3 Benefits of Using a Cloud-Based New Product Incubator

A cloud-based microservices approach has changed the way new product development can be managed in several ways that include:

  • Speed of development and ability to quickly introduce innovative ideas to target market
  • Low “footprint” on in-house systems landscape
  • Can reduce internal red tape and increase a company’s agility for new product launches

These needs provide the insurer with a non-disruptive environment to test new products, receiving customer feedback on product viability   Changes to the products can be done quickly and released back to the distribution. 

In addition to the inherent application development benefits of microservices, deploying a microservices-based new product incubator has additional benefits to the organization.

#1 – Launch of new products with minimal disruption to production systems

The new product incubator will enable the business to develop new products and enter the market quickly with a focus on innovation and the unique value proposition. As feedback comes in from customers and brokers, changes to the product offering and distribution techniques can be easily accommodated.

When testing new products, the go-to-market strategy is to offer quote-to-bind capabilities with no cancellations or endorsements typically. If the go-to-market strategy is successful, the data can be sent downstream to your production systems where endorsements and cancellations can be taken care of.

#2 – IT resources and cost

The cost and approval necessary to develop new products in an incubator are significantly less than in a production or production staging environment. Cloud-based microservices are a subscription-based cost as opposed to an additional cost to an existing 3 to 5-year software license for a traditional PAS system. Cloud-based microservices also do not require a capital expense for additional hardware.

The IT resources required are little to none. Once the incubator is set up with the proper security and compliance necessary to quote and bind a new product, IT resources are not required on an ongoing basis.

One of the strengths of microservices as mentioned earlier is the adaptability to backend systems. When data from a new product needs to be sent downstream to production systems, microservices offer flexible API options for connectivity.

#3 – Incubator to transaction services

If a new product offering catches on, the incubator can be extended to a fully functional system including transaction services over time or can be moved onto the legacy systems. The system can be made available direct to consumer or for agents and brokers.

Conclusion

Deploying a microservices-based incubator for the development of new insurance products enables organizations to deliver new products faster with less risk, resources and investment required. Product teams can focus on making meaningful changes to the business logic and user interface based on the feedback from customers and brokers faster than updating production systems.

Products developed within microservices-based Incubators can also have their functionality extended from quote and bind to a fully functional transactional system that can be made available to consumers, agents, and brokers.

 Interested in learning more about OWIT Global's microservices? Click the link below.

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Wendy Aarons-Corman

By Wendy Aarons-Corman

Prior to joining OWIT Global, Wendy was most recently providing consulting services with a focus on strategy development for both software vendors and insurance carriers. Wendy has also served as President of North America for edge IPK, a provider of insurance specific web portal responsive technology solutions, developing all aspects of marketing, sales and operations until the company’s acquisition by Temenos Group AG in 2012. Earlier in her career, Wendy was the founder of Business Development at Duck Creek Technologies and was instrumental in the company’s significant early growth in both market share and revenue. Wendy has also held various positions in technology, beginning her career as a software developer for commercial and specialty lines insurance.

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