MD on the future of insurtech

MD on the future of insurtech | Insurance Business Australia

MD on the future of insurtech

There’s a growing space in insurance tech that capitalises on innovative software to help insurers and brokers make their business operations more efficient.

One company spearheading this technology into the market is iaAnyware, a specialist provider of software specifically catered for brokers.

“iaAnyware was initially formed to provide technology solutions for a new and rapidly growing general insurance adviser group, requiring distributed access for users as well as centralised management and accounting processes,” said Denise Hughes (pictured), MD of iaAnyware.

“There were very few solutions available at that time and nothing which quite fitted the unique and individual structure of the business, being central control with a high number of remote locations.”

Originally based in North Sydney, iaAnyware moved all development to the Gold Coast in 2003, where the company built a solid foundational team, which Hughes says is key to its success.

“Many of our staff have been with the company for over 10 years and have a broad range of skills across both IT and general insurance,” she said.

Since the company’s inception, iaAnyware has progressed through a diverse range of technology solutions, including using key processing centres dialling into a centralised database, replicated databases as well as smart client technology – all while hosting its customer databases inhouse.

“It has been a long road to now utilising the latest in technology with our web applications utilising the Microsoft .NET Core Development Platform, Microsoft Office 365 and Power BI Reporting, as well as Microsoft Azure SaaS and IaaS services,” Hughes said.

“We have always worked within an agile development structure and this has allowed us to grow and adapt to new technologies. We also want our customers to be able to grow and adapt quickly and one of the core values we adhere to is to provide simple ‘self-serve’ customisation and management across all functions of our applications.”

It’s this combination of both initiatives that Hughes believes will enable continuous growth and success into the future.

Additionally, iaAnyware has recently launched two new insurance broking solutions across Australia and New Zealand, ensuring the company is delivering on its promise of “anywhere” and “anytime” access.

“For many years now, we have provided applications which can be accessed ‘anywhere’ and ‘anytime’, and this will continue with the added benefit that we can now support additional web devices,” she said.

“Our brokers can be in any location around the globe and we often see access from some desirable destinations as they combine overseas holidays and continue to service their clients. In fact, right now we have 800+ users connecting remotely from home due to the COVID-19 lockdown.”

Ensuring their clients had easy access to the company’s solutions was cemented as a top priority after the company saw the impact natural disasters, such as the Christchurch earthquakes, had on brokers.

Hughes says that clients impacted by the disaster benefitted from “uninterrupted access to their client’s policies and data, even though they had no access to their own damaged offices.”

The most important function of their business to drive impact and benefit to brokers moving forward is how quickly iaAnyware is able to develop new features and modules as well as connect with emerging technology, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“We have already included a number of new features which use external data sources, and this provides our brokers with instant access to information about their prospect or client’s business, enabling them to provide improved professional and detailed advice. Our brokers will also find an improved user experience and faster response times,” she said.

While iaAnyware has enjoyed international expansion and growth, there are changes the company and industry face.

“One of the greatest changes is not necessarily limited to the insurance market but more the general need for flexibility, that ability to work from anywhere, as well as the security of data,” Hughes noted.

“The other change was the introduction of the Financial Services Reform and the requirement for licence holders to monitor their advisers. Our systems provide full process management and compliance to give our licence holders control and peace of mind.”

But despite these changes, the industry’s response to digital innovation in business has been productive, she says.

“I think once they become aware that there is no magic solution most companies are finding innovative ways to overcome the roadblocks they are presented with,” she said.

“With the surge of insurtech in Australia and the emergence of smarter technologies I am sure we will see an acceleration in better solutions… Having worked hand in hand with a number of large insurers we really look forward to future projects to connect and share data.”

Finally, Hughes is also confident in the positioning of iaAnyware now and for the future resulting from the feedback they have received from their client base.

“We have had very positive feedback from users, and it has been great that they have taken the time to be in touch with us,” she said.

“They are finding the improved usability and additional functions exciting and very useful in their everyday activities. We keep them up to date on planned features and they continue to work with us and look forward to these as they become available.”