Insights from Guidewire Connections 2021 : harnessing Cloud and data for faster time to market
In early November 2021, Guidewire Connections saw around 1,000 customers and partners come together to learn, collaborate and network. What themes emerged from the event, and what does this mean for insurers?
Cloud as the foundation for flexibility and speed
The most significant feature at the event was the launch of Dobson, the latest version of Guidewire’s cloud platform. With adoption of Guidewire cloud roughly doubling every year, cloud underpinned almost every theme running throughout the conference, as well as all new and forthcoming apps and capabilities.
This foundation provides the ability to deploy more easily, get products to market faster, provide better business insight, reduce overall costs, benefit from more sophisticated automation and improve collaboration with other partners.
Guidewire GO, which was also announced at the event, builds directly on this release. It offers a library of pre-packaged insurance product definitions, allowing new products to be launched quickly, helping insurers to respond more flexibly to market demands. The move to cloud has opened up many new possibilities, such as the externalisation of the Advanced Product Designer (APD). As an externalised service, it’s easier for developers to interact with the APD and provides far more agility. Guidewire GO is currently available for Early Access customers.
Guidewire’s new strategy for migrating customers to the cloud, known as Cloud Direct, has also been streamlined, making it simpler and faster for insurers to begin experiencing the benefits of the new platform.
The power of data and analytics
Harnessing data and powerful analytics to make better and faster decisions and to be more adaptable to a rapidly changing environment was another key theme.
Guidewire Live was unveiled at the event with the aim of achieving this. This suite of analytics apps leverages the Guidewire Data Platform embedded into Guidewire’s cloud to power machine learning, AI-driven automation and digital analytics. This delivers live insights across the insurance lifecycle, enables continuous learning and achieves better business outcomes.
Guidewire Live features:
- Explore – gathers, curates and visualises data to inform business strategy
- Predict – harnesses machine learning to underpin data-driven decision making
- Assess – provides monitoring of multiple risks from all lines of business
- Respond – helps to reduce claim cycle time and opportunistic fraud after catastrophe
- Compare – enables proactive claims analysis and peer-performance benchmarking
Easier access to partner expertise
The capability of solution partners to help insurers roll out apps and solutions quickly and without reinventing the wheel was also heavily discussed. A broad range of partners are firmly embedded in the larger Guidewire ecosystem and this collaboration makes it easier for insurers to leverage third party solutions.
A Cloud Integration Framework was also introduced. This is a no-code, subscription-based model allowing easier and faster access to a growing number of partner capabilities while lowering the cost of integration. Cloud Integration Framework is currently available for Early Access customers.
With insurance products often too complex and insufficiently tailored for individual small businesses, it’s no wonder that 40% don’t have insurance. However, this may soon be changing.
Instead of targeting a specific group of customers to sell a predefined product, we’re seeing a move towards personalising products to meet the requirements of individual customers. Guidewire’s API-driven architecture provides much greater flexibility, enabling personalisation of micro-products to support the needs of a wide variety of small businesses and working practices such as the gig economy.
In summary, sustained growth on the cloud front, an increased focus on data and analytics, a more prominent role of the partner ecosystem, and a clear trend towards insurance personalisation are our key takeaways of this year’s Guidewire Connections.