Issues & Answers Special Advertising Section:
 December 2022

Issues & Answers: Digital Revolution

Meera Krishnamurthy, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Insurance for Cognizant, said “from our experience and servicing clients in both the life and property and casualty sector globally, we can say with certainty that there is no one size that fits all solutions.” Following are excerpts of an interview.

Meera Krishnamurthy
Senior Vice President
Global Head of Insurance for Cognizant

“We are the largest system integrator in the insurance industry in North America.”

How has insurance digitized in the last decade with the integration of new technologies and industry platforms?

The insurance industry is finally making real progress with digital. Virtually all insurers started in a rudimentary place, where every document at every stage of the insurance life cycle was on paper, and every document had to pass through human hands for things to get done. I still remember the giant storage spaces, whole floors of large buildings in fact, where all that paper was permanently housed in filing boxes! That visual—plus the record retention risks and service challenges—prompted most insurers to start by digitizing all that paper. Fast forward a few years, and insurers have discovered that they can skip right over the paper stage by doing things electronically, and in the process they capture and generate data that has a lot of utility.

Where do you still see opportunities for insurers to accelerate their business transformation?

For life insurers, we typically see carriers get stymied by a set of blockers, like a growing stack of legacy technology that is really hard to retire. Or an inability to bring new thinking about business processes or business models into the mix. And both of those things are perfectly rational. It is not easy to retire legacy technology, and the industry has seen plenty of failed attempts through the years. On innovation, traditionally it has simply been a risk/reward mismatch. The old business models have hundreds of years of success, so setting them aside to try something newer and risky is quite a leap. Carriers need to think creatively about solving their biggest problems in sequence. On the P/C side, we see tremendous opportunities as carriers develop functional ecosystems. In other words, the ability to combine best practices, great data, and modern technology in innovative ways, without building it yourself. It turns out one of the best things about the insurtech revolution is that we’re learning as an industry to bring capabilities together in a test-and-learn model.

How is Cognizant leveraging new insurance platforms and ecosystems in insurance and how has that impacted its clients/partners?

At Cognizant, we generate value for insurers who are addressing core systems challenges by providing two essential things: deep platform and domain expertise, and a service palette that enables strategic flexibility. As the largest SI [system integrator] in North American insurance, we have knowledge across all major platforms and lines of business, for every step of the insurance value chain. Our advisory capabilities help customize solutions to every client’s specific needs. In addition, we have deep-dive technology expertise across the domains that drive the digital conversation like AI, data, automation, application engineering, and cloud. All that knowledge comes together in a wide range of models which we tailor to client needs, balancing risk and speed.