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improvIT: The Bridge Between Insurance and IT

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Sotirios Pigas, Co-founder, improvITSotirios Pigas, Co-founder The insurance industry is a highly specialized vertical in the enterprise landscape, consisting of multiple layers, each having its own specificities.

In such an ecosystem, where the efficiency of insurance operations is largely predicated on the effectiveness of IT systems, the need to bridge the gap between insurance processes and IT operations becomes a catalyst for business optimization.

“Insurance and IT should go hand-in-hand to ensure that both customers and service providers are co-operating on a win-win basis to deliver value to consumers,” begins Sotirios Pigas, co-founder of improvIT, a highly specialized consultancy firm that operates internationally. “Our mission is to help insurance organizations achieve operational excellence through the utilization of innovative information technology solutions, eliminating the gap with business strategy and requirements.”

Digitalizing Insurance

improvIT has created a set of best practices, business metrics, and IT architectures to accommodate insurance operations productively. The firm functions as a catalyst for insurance processes through system implementation. Pigas says, “Achieving digitalization through the right IT solutions solves a majority of challenges plaguing the insurance industry today.”

With regulatory standards being introduced or amended frequently, the insurance arena continually faces legal and compliance-related challenges. For instance, adhering to newer industry standards such as IFRS 17, issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in 2017, poses a significant challenge for insurers. But, while organizations pursue the development of suitable solutions, a fair share of business operations—like process optimization initiatives—gets overlooked. There are two main approaches to such challenges; One is to consider regulatory compliance requirements as an obligation and try barely to meet them. The other is to view them as an opportunity and lay the foundations for modernizing an aging and fragmented infrastructure, increase automation, and potentially reach a state of operational excellence. IT departments also have much to gain from a new systems architecture, which is efficient and future-proof.

"Insurance and IT should go hand-in-hand to ensure that both customers and service providers are co-operating on a win-win basis to deliver value to consumers"

Addressing this formidable hurdle, Pigas says that if these regulations are viewed as opportunities instead of challenges, insurance providers will essentially find themselves a step ahead of their competition. “Such regulations can strengthen a business infrastructure if employed to mitigate organizational weaknesses. When we interact with our clients, we take an inside out approach, stimulated by external challenges. Through this strategy, we can define the strengths and weaknesses of an insurance provider, and then build a resilient IT architecture to overcome the problems,” he adds. With its consulting and implementation services, improvIT assists clients in defining their enterprise challenges, keeping in mind the reliability and efficiency of IT operations.

The company understands clients’ constraints and classifies their strengths and weaknesses to devise solutions that fit their IT infrastructure and culture. Ultimately, improvIT ensures that its clients’ IT architecture remains open and future proof, and is capable of integrating a multitude of solutions, driving both success and customer satisfaction.

Achieving digitalization through IT solves a majority of challenges plaguing the insurance industry

This unique approach enables improvIT to speak the language of both insurance domain experts and IT professionals, helping clients take one step at a time and traverse the road of digitalization. The company’s business analysis capability analyses a client’s insurance and IT architecture to break down the complexities into ‘digestible segments’ and then converts the challenges into opportunities through IT solutions. The technology capability, on the other hand, is responsible for providing the deliverables for each architecture development iteration that enable the business to achieve its goals.

Such architecture ensures that an insurer has everything needed to cater to clients effectively. From advanced underwriting to insurance sub-ledgers, collections, and claims management, or even greenfield core systems full implementations, the entirety of insurance operations is streamlined through improvIT’s service portfolio.

Integration with both business and technology domains guarantees that Business and IT strategic, tactical, and operational layers are always on the same page. Although the company does not offer IT governance and project management as a standalone service, its expertise in the insurance field enables its customers to execute successful projects adding actual business value to their bottom line.

Building Insurance Resilience

improvIT’s competency in offering such value to clients was clearly demonstrated in a recent engagement involving a business process optimization initiative for a leading international insurer. The aim was for the organization to optimize the customer service process. improvIT designed a web-based solution, with advanced workflow capabilities that seamlessly integrated multiple back-end systems and computational IT infrastructures. By further adopting advanced analytics and robotic process automation (RPA), the company streamlined customer engagement across the entire organization, adding a flair of detailed customer insights and automated process execution, leading to a genuine and personalized 360-degree view of its clients.

improvIT makes sure that all necessary information is captured and analyzed in detail, thereby facilitating process excellence across the entire organization.

“With this approach, our clients can deliver better customer experiences, all the while reducing the costs associated with the effort,” states Pigas.

He emphasizes that advanced reporting is utilized to enable the monitoring of process performance. Through such monitoring and reporting, insurers can identify and evaluate the causes for any process inefficiency and whether or not they are receiving the appropriate benefits from such initiatives, thus enabling them to initiate corrective actions quickly. “The two domains—data analytics and process automation—are interdependent. One feeds the other,” says Pigas.

Apart from the adoption of novel technology, flexibility should be provided by each and every component within an insurance IT landscape, from web-based consumer-facing applications to the usually overlooked core insurance back-end solutions and accounting platforms. As a part of our quality assurance process, we apply flexibility and extendibility principles in every engagement, trying to go a step beyond the apparent client requirements.

These industry-standard methodologies for IT architecture design, project management, and insurance process optimization deliver value to customers holistically, enabling clients to achieve their organizational objectives efficiently. Moreover, improvIT’s analysts collaborate with insurance and IT teams operating across these domains to improve interdepartmental communication.

People above All

Pigas accredits the company’s proficiency to its team of subject matter experts who deeply understand the intricacies of the insurance domain. Reflecting on the meritorious streak of his IT and insurance specialists, Pigas remarks, “We are primarily insurance domain experts; that is why we are able to bridge insurance and IT effectively. It is impossible to act as a trusted advisor if you lack the experience and knowledge in the business domain in which you operate.

During our meticulous hiring process, we make clear that improvIT is not a generic technology services provider, but dedicated to the insurance domain. Our people develop skills in both technology and business and have explicit goals to become -maybe not equally- but proficient in both.

This approach is imperative even for our outsourcing engagements, where we do not operate in a business vacuum, but provide an end-to-end problem-solving proposition."

improvIT enables its clients to navigate through the predominantly jargoned insurance landscape and focus on the problem at hand. It brings in a strong sense of reliability as a partner. “We wear both insurance and IT costumes, stitching the two together with our commitment to deliver value; I believe that is what improvIT is all about,” concludes Pigas. His words reflect the underlying philosophy through which improvIT engages with clients, supporting them consistently under the insurance umbrella.

- Pamela Morgan
    December 12, 2019
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improvIT

Company
improvIT

Headquarters
Athens, Greece

Management
Sotirios Pigas, Co-founder and Antonios Sympouras, Co-founder

Description
A consulting firm that specializes in systems implementation, business analysis, and IT service delivery for the insurance sector. improvIT has created a set of best practices, business metrics, and IT architectures to accommodate insurance operations productively. The firm believes is viewing regulatory and compliance related challenges as opportunities, arming clients with a resilient insurance portfolio. It then assists clients in defining their enterprise challenges accurately against its business objectives, keeping in mind the reliability and efficiency of IT operations. During its transformational initiatives, improvIT embraces the role of a technology agnostic services provider that is dedicated to the insurance domain