For the insurance industry, app testing pays off

ATowers Watson survey found that 61 percent of insurance industry experts cited regulatory and compliance needs as a big challenge.

A Towers Watson survey found that 61 percent of insurance industry experts cited regulatory and compliance needs as a big challenge. Credit: iStock

When it comes to IT transformation, can insurance companies pass the test? That’s the question many CIOs are asking. Today’s insurance organizations must process and manage an enormous amount of administrative task-related data. Too often they rely on those cumbersome, costly legacy systems that soak up valuable time and IT resources. And manual processes, already ripe for human error, lack proper management capabilities.

It comes as no surprise that inefficiency is driving transformation in the insurance industry. So are changing regulatory requirements. In fact, 61 percent of industry experts cited regulatory and compliance needs as the biggest challenge facing the industry, according to a recent Towers Watson survey. Other challenges include improving strategic planning, data analytics and the customer experience — challenges that warrant new IT systems and solutions.

And that’s not all. Companies are in the hunt to streamline core business processes like policy administration or claims processing. There’s also the drive to build mobile applications and other digital offerings to meet new customer preferences.

Take the test

No doubt about it, the insurance industry IT landscape is changing at a fast pace. But rolling out new applications or systems before they’re ready can spell disaster. According to the experts at Dell Insurance Services, testing can catch errors early on in the development phase. If not discovered during testing, production defects can double, or even triple the initial cost.

Those are big numbers. That’s why insurance application testing strategies are evolving, too. By establishing independent testing functions, insurance companies can help ensure a smooth rollout of projects – like application modernization — which can in turn help streamline sales, policy administration and underwriting.

Business benefits of testing include:

  • Identifying defects
  • Staying compliant with industry standards
  • Mitigating risk
  • Responding quickly to regulatory mandates
  • Deploying services more quickly

Despite the benefits, insurance companies are lagging in proper applications testing, even though it’s been shown to drive user adoption of business applications. It’s time to find a partner who can help you design and deploy an application testing project.

Think ahead

In coming up with a testing strategy, companies should look for methodical approaches that consider the business functionality, the techniques, and the people who use them. It’s vital that a testing vendor should hire experts in insurance industry — experience matters.

Other common sense strategies include thinking long-term and breaking away from old-fashioned testing. Here’s a specific example: this Dell white paper discusses two case studies regarding script-based automation for data entry and reporting. Dell Testing Services general receive 30 percent cost savings and 10 percent year-over-year productivity improvements. That makes a big difference on the bottom line.

Insurance companies must work more efficiently, comply with new and existing regulations, stay competitive, and provide and exemplary customer experience. Adopting new applications and systems is the only way to meet all of these needs. Don’t fall short on proper testing — it will save money, time and frustration. And that’s a test worth taking.

Read more about Dell’s testing framework in this data sheet (PDF). You can find more information on Dell Insurance offerings, or Dell Testing Services. Or follow @DellInsurance on Twitter.

Ann Braley Smith

Ann Braley Smith

Dell Contributor at Tech Page One
Ann Braley Smith works for Dell, and she writes about healthcare, the relationship of IT to government, and other topics.
Ann Braley Smith
Ann Braley Smith
Ann Braley Smith
Tags: Business,Software