As a small insurance provider, you know how important your portals are and what they achieve. Better customer experiences, improved risk prediction accuracy, reduced operating costs, the ability to compete upriver against bigger providers, customer loyalty, real-time insights, a leg up on recruiting modern talent, healthier margins… the benefits are clear

But portal technology and user expectations are changing, seemingly every day. This presents a number of challenges, namely, determining when and how to make upgrades. 

The key is to make moves that are minimally disruptive to your customers. 

One strategy towards leveling up your portal experiences is the lift and shift. It’s a software development term that essentially means moving an application (in this case, your portals and all of their data) from one platform or environment to another without making changes to the actual application. It’s like if you were to move your company’s website from one host to another. Nothing about the site looks different; it just lives somewhere else that presumably has better capabilities, security, speed, etc.

Why would anyone want to lift and shift their portals? 

There are three primary value props to the lift and shift strategy: 

  1. A full core upgrade. When you lift and shift your portals to a more modern platform, you’re modernizing the entire workflow of your insurance business for agents, underwriters, executive staff and everyone in between.  
  2. One platform instead of many. In the context of insurance technology, most providers lift and shift when they realize that their portal ecosystem is a mashup of multiple systems that have been lashed together over time. By lifting and shifting to one single platform, there’s no more double entry and no more paying for multiple systems. 
  3. Automation. Today’s modern platforms have doubled down on automation to eliminate repetitive, time-consuming tasks – everything from quoting, binding and renewals to endorsements, claims submissions and adjudication. 

Lifting and Shifting Still Sounds Like a Lot of Work

Understandably, small insurance providers might push back against the lift and shift approach. Oftentimes, they cite sunken costs. We’ve invested so much in our systems over the years and could never leave them now (even though they’re outdated). Then there’s the time/cost/risk concern around a months (or even years)-long implementation that delivers no new functionality, is subject to failure and will almost certainly go over budget. 

Fortunately those fears and hesitations are… well… just fears and hesitations. Trailblazer’s full suite implementation has none of those issues. We’ve designed our lift and shift implementation process to be low (or even no) cost. This means providers don’t have to worry about costs sunk into their legacy portals or going over budget. And usually, we have our customers up and functional in 10-12 weeks. Our modular approach breaks implementation into chunks so only single individual business units are impacted. 

That all creates a seamless experience. No full-time IT staff required. 

Alternatives to Lifting and Shifting

If you’re still not sold on the lift and shift strategy (which is entirely OK), there are alternatives. 

At Trailblazer, our flagship product, Portal, offers a platform that makes collaboration between your agents and policyholders seamless and hassle-free. Your clients stay on their existing system while integrating new user interfaces for administrators, underwriters, agents, and policyholders. 

Offering agent dashboards, advanced reporting and analytics, online payments and countless other features, Portal is a great first step towards upgrading your entire policy administration system. 

Bottom Line

Maintaining modern portals is non-negotiable in today’s insurance world. The lift and shift strategy towards achieving such is viable and not as daunting as you might think. But for small insurance providers looking to really level up their portal game… let’s talk