Today’s business world is fiercely competitive, and every company wants a piece of the pie. This holds true for the insurance industry as well. Rapid product rollout has become a necessity rather than an aspiration for life and annuity Insurers to remain competitive in the insurance business. However, rapid product rollout depends heavily on technology to reduce product development and testing times. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of increasing speed to market in the insurance industry, the roadblocks to increasing speed to market, and how Emtech QMT enables insurers to speed up product rollout while eliminating quality-related Day 2 issues.
Importance of Speed to Market
In today’s fast-paced business environment, being able to bring a product to market quickly can be the difference between success and failure. Speed to market refers to the amount of time it takes a carrier for a product to be developed and launched to the market. Due to the unstable interest rate environment, labor shortages, and market competitiveness, insurers are facing tremendous challenges. These challenges force them to optimize their business models, implement new pricing, or update existing products. In addition, they must continuously innovate and deliver new products to market faster to remain competitive and relevant with their customers. Furthermore, regulatory changes often force them to update their existing products quickly and cost-effectively.
Benefits of Speed to Market
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, carriers continuously strive to increase speed to market to maintain their growth, profitability, sustainability, and customer satisfaction at the highest level. Some of the key advantages of getting to market faster include:
- Early Revenue Generation. A product developed for untapped segments in a competitive insurance market can earn a higher profit. Having a few extra months of strong revenue before competitors rush into the market can make all the difference between profitability and stagnation.
- Competitive Advantage. The latest and greatest products from their insurers are always on the agents’ minds. By delivering new and relevant products to the market, insurers distinguish themselves from their competitors and gain a competitive edge. On the contrary, insurers may lose market share and be unable to retain top agents if they do not deliver innovative products quickly.
- Brand Recognition. The rapid development of new products increases brand recognition and perceived value for insurers.
- Agility and Adaptability. Rapidly launching new products and enhancing existing ones allows carriers to adapt to market changes and customer preferences more easily. It enables them to stay ahead of competitors and maintain a relevant and competitive product portfolio.
- Cost Savings. A quicker product launch minimizes development expenses, reduces resource requirements, limits costs, and generates income sooner.
Hurdles to Accelerate Time-to-Market
While businesses are increasingly concerned with maximizing speed to market, insurance carriers face several challenges in achieving this goal. One of the main obstacles to increasing speed to market is the lack of modernization in the insurance industry. In many cases, insurers operate on a complex patchwork of legacy systems and processes, which cannot automate the insurance processes seamlessly from initial application capture to underwriting to policy issuance, enhance customer experience, and improve efficiency overall. In addition, inconsistent approaches, and lack of collaboration among different skill sets often slow product development.
Furthermore, manual testing approaches make innovation time-consuming and expensive. Insurance systems involve complex business processes, numerous integration points, and vast amounts of data. Managing the complexity of these systems while achieving accurate and reliable testing is essential to avoid the costly consequences of defective products. Legacy systems and manual testing cannot maintain data integrity, privacy, or scale to cover 100 percent test coverage. Testers develop test cases based on their skills and previous experiences in manual testing, but there is no guarantee that all scenarios have been tested and no errors have been made. Moreover, manual testing approaches consume excessive FTE hours, slowing down the agile development process.
Leveraging Technology to Enhance Time-to-Market Speed
The role of technology in speeding up time-to-market is crucial. It provides businesses with tools and capabilities to develop products faster. Insurance companies must leverage modern technology and automation tools to enhance collaboration and speed up product development. To remove the lag times in product decision-making and approval processes, they need to break down operational silos among different units. In addition, insurers and stakeholders must ensure that their products are thoroughly tested, work properly, and adhere to industry standards.
Automated QA software can help insurance carriers to test their applications more efficiently and effectively. However, many QA approaches are not specifically tailored to the unique needs of insurance carriers. Automated testing employs software tools to automate the creation and execution of test cases and test databases without requiring human intervention. Using advanced computer algorithms, automated QA testing identifies potential issues and generates test cases that cover a wide range of scenarios. It enables QA teams to scale testing and detect defects earlier in product development, significantly reducing the testing cycle.
Accelerating Speed to Market
Recognizing the hurdles involved in manual testing and the challenges insurers face in delivering high-quality products, Emtech QMT was specifically designed for insurance carriers to accelerate test cycles, improve test coverage, and speed up time-to-market for insurance products.
The following is an overview of how Emtech QMT enables insurance carriers to keep pace with modern delivery speeds without compromising quality.
- Improve Product Launches: QMT’s high-throughput, knowledge graph model-based approach enables shift-left allowing the entire QA cycle to be reduced to a few hours instead of weeks or months. By using a high-performance knowledge graph of the business logic, which provides a deep understanding of the relationships, QMT discovers all defects early, delivering the level of quality needed to meet product launch dates. Using a knowledge graph model removes manual testing and human error and extends the visibility of QA for new products to well-informed, technical business analysts.
- Full Coverage at a Fraction of the Cost: QMT features full, end-to-end test coverage combined with automated test cases and data generation, providing a low code method for testing business logic and workflow. model automates the generation of all test cases by traversing the knowledge graph model which produces all possible permutations of the business logic. These test cases are then executed in an automation framework. Testing the end-to-end process of life insurance systems and their integrations can help carriers ensure the quality of product launches and prevent embarrassing errors experienced by distributors and customers post-launch.
- Eliminate Quality-Related Day 2 Issues: QMT drastically reduces test cycle times via powerful variance analysis that detects and only tests changes since the last execution. QMT enables IT executives to get more value from the dollars they’re already spending and reach full test coverage eliminating quality-related Day 2 Issues, or to choose to deploy fewer people to maintain existing coverage.
- Shift Left, All the Way: QMT dramatically reduces test cycle execution time, from weeks or months to hours, enabling earlier and more frequent testing in the agile development process. QMT is designed to work seamlessly with existing systems and integrate into CI/CD processes and automation systems such as Jenkins and Jira.
- Secure and Control the Environment: QMT implements security measures to create a controlled environment that supports SOC 2 attestation and HIPAA compliance. This includes access controls and a secure model relational database, which helps to reduce risk and exposure for the carrier.
- Speed up Product Customization: QMT enables the complete business process flow of the insurance policy life cycle to be built within a visual, interconnected model. Abstracting the business processes simplifies change management and readily supports making changes to an application under test, by only requiring an update to the affected nodes in the model. Updated test cases are generated automatically, consequently, only what has changed needs to be tested, which reduces time and eliminates human error.
- Extend the Architecture: QMT’s extensible architecture includes a library of common function calls that support testing of the entire ecosystem and the integrations between them, such as underwriting, policy status, issuance, and claims. Additionally, it allows for the direct integration of carriers’ existing testing function calls into a model node, which can speed up test time by up to 4x.
- Provide Insightful Test Report: QMT generates a comprehensive test report that provides an overview of test coverage and outcomes as well as a description of defects found during the testing. Through this, the QA team can prioritize defects, track their resolution, and communicate their findings to relevant stakeholders.
To maintain competitiveness, insurance providers must enhance agility and flexibility in crafting new products and regularly refreshing existing ones. Time to market stands is a pivotal component within these endeavors. QMT was developed to enable insurers to keep pace with modern delivery speeds while eliminating quality-related Day 2 issues. Embracing QMT, a century-old Life Insurance Carrier witnessed a 30-fold surge in automated test coverage, slashing manual testing hours from around 2,500 to 30 and diminishing the need for Full-Time Employees (FTE) in QA by 80%.