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InsurTech Rising 365

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Turning a Patchwork of Legacy Systems into a Digital Renaissance

AxawayFrom within the insurance industry, technology innovator and CEO of Tim Ward could see key players were missing out, and wanted to put that right. We talked to Tim and Richard Farnworth, UK Country Manager at Axway, about the and Axway Amplify collaboration, a platform approach that’s a game changer for the sector.

Constant digital transformation and innovation brings challenges for all organisations, but what’s distinctive about the insurance landscape?

Tim: The majority of large, established and successful insurance organisations are working with a complex patchwork of legacy systems introduced and added to over many years where nine times out of ten integrations could be better. Historically industry processes and business streams work in silos using different systems: they may as well be separate businesses. That creates huge inefficiencies and makes it inherently difficult to deliver on today’s customer expectations.

The industry is acutely aware of the benefit digital transformation could bring but understandably the challenge of moving forward is daunting. They haven’t been able change their existing systems without exposure to significant risk and disruption and consequently they tend to languish in the digital laggard position.

If this is a cross industry issue, is there really a need for change?

Tim: Absolutely! There is growing pressure to change, coming from various stakeholders. Insurance is a lucrative market and attracts newcomers. There will be the disruptors, starting out with no baggage, who will take advantage of new technology and have consumers at the centre of their business models. Big brands from other industries, will use their plentiful resources and brand equity to enter the market, just like Apple who forever changed the music Industry.  In addition, the end consumer expects sophisticated online services – just like they get from Airbnb or Amazon. Insurance services have very limited functionality - online business doesn’t just mean creating an app that provides an online quote! I’m talking about 100% of insurance business processes being online - from quote through contract, to underwriting and claims. All managed on one platform.

So there’s a gap between wanting to change and the reality of doing so?

Richard: The Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2017 found that 94% of Insurance Executives agree that adopting a platform-based business model and engaging ecosystems with digital partnerships are critical to their business. But such a complex task, that touches every element of your business is almost impossible. Our collaboration with makes it possible. A platform to help insurance companies get their insurance processes 100% online, with minimal disruption, quickly. Plus, crucially, the ability to exploit the systems and data assets they have. It’s painless digital transformation. From trial you can go to market in days, with no risk to existing operations. Together we’re in a unique position to offer an agile, efficient, fast approach to market.

What are the wins for insurance companies that move forward?

Richard: The platform involves the whole insurance ecosystem and all business lines. Suppliers, underwriters etc. can communicate and collaborate in real time. The focus of activity can move from processes to creating business value through cross-selling opportunities to identifying new markets.

Customer centricity is created naturally because the customer’s personal profile is at the center of the ecosystem around this profile processes are automated. Time spent on, essentially manual, tasks are removed.  Processes and legacy systems are managed from a new customer perspective rather than exploitation of their value being limited by the way processes are organised.

The trusted network of intermediaries and brokers will have access to the platform. Less of their time will be spent on admin and they will become better advisors delivering higher value service.  Customers will have the choice of whether to work via an intermediary or go direct.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence to robotics and cloud, will move from being intangible dreams to exploitable realities, right now. Insurers will relinquish their laggard status once and for all with IT departments focusing on these exciting new areas, rather than grappling with 40-year-old silo’ d systems.

Any final words?

Tim: Insurers can truly leverage digital to explore new business opportunities and to take full advantage of their strengths, because the costs and risks have been eliminated. As digital disruptors and big brands turn their hand to insurance and existing customers demand more, doing nothing is no longer a sustainable position. Learn more at


Tim Ward_eINStech_PhotoAfter qualifying as a solicitor, Tim Ward joined Lloyd’s of London in 1991 as an underwriter.

Between 1993 and 2009, he was an international loss adjuster and risk management consultant, specialising in financial & professional risks and working with governments & central banks and all types of financial institutions globally.

In 1998 he founded two businesses for which he served as CEO for 12 years. He was a pioneer and thought leader in insurance sector digital transformation, creating game-changing vision and strategy.

Tim has also served as a digital transformation advisor to a major European banking group, Global Risk Director for a FTSE100 telco company, non-exec director of an Indian software solutions company, Chairman of a US life insurance company, CEO of several businesses in various sectors, including being Head of Generali Worldwide between Mar 2010 and August 2012, and an adviser to a US hedge fund and an Israeli private equity company.

RichardFarnsworth-e1496933646183Richard Farnworth is Country Manager for the UK & Nordics at Axway. In his role at Axway, Farnworth has overall responsibility for teams in both regions and through his Leadership position is driving operational functions to grow revenue, partnerships and presence across Axways entire portfolio. Previous to this role, Farnworth had Leadership positions in growth and new markets at Oracle and prior, restructured and grew Enterprise Business at NEC Europe in part by gaining brand growth and visibility through a key sponsorship with the leading London entertainment venue The O2. Farnworth has held other management and individual positions at companies such as BEA Systems and InterX plc and holds a BSc in Computer Science from The University of Portsmouth.