When I first heard the term “multigrained” regarding insurance services, I thought someone had made a mistake.

In my last blog, we looked at monolithic, micro and macro service architectures for insurers, exploring how they work and how they impact an organization.  Multigrained makes you (or just me) think of healthy eating and my mantra has always been “everything in moderation”.

There are advantages of all approaches – monolithic core systems that are available yet agile, and full suites of independent services – each one in “moderation” – with each service supporting an insurer’s complex transactions. This is most visible in policy administration systems (PAS), where selling and servicing policies demands the best of monoliths and microservices.

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In our current environment, it’s not an understatement to say that insurers and their PAS need to be flexible. One of the best ways to remain flexible is to opt for a hybrid, multigrained approach that leverages a blend of services of different sizes and types, delivered and controlled via APIs.

Multigrained services are comprised of monolithic services, miniservices and microservices:

  • Monolithic Service: one large application handling multiple functionalities, drawing upon one data base
  • Miniservice: separate set of domain-level services with its own database, handling multiple functions
  • Microservice: each dedicated service with its own separate database, handling an individual feature

The terms and concepts “multigrained services”  and “mesh app and service architecture” (MASA) that undergird this approach were popularized by Gartner. MASA is the architectural model for the implementation of a multigrained approach that has emerged over the past few years. MASA provides the architecture for applications to support multiple experiences and respond quickly to digital business demands. It focuses on both individual applications and strategies for evolving the organization’s entire application portfolio.

This approach is comprised of several apps and services, and each app can support a specific user, consumer or agent.

Using application architecture innovations, multigrained MASA includes concepts such as:

  • Single-page apps
  • Service-oriented architecture (SOA)
  • Mediated APIs
  • Microservices
  • Cloud-native design
  • Reactive programming
  • Hybrid transaction/analytical processing (HTAP)
  • Event-driven architecture (EDA)

The multigrained approach provides architecture for insurers to support multiple experiences of varying sizes and scopes in an agile way. It equips developers with the flexibility to develop and deliver new services and features quickly, using the most relevant technology for each application.

The back-end consists of multiple independent modules (such as services) that developers can create, update and replace rapidly, and orchestrate to support distinct workflows. Each service represents one business capability, which is exposed to consumers through an API.

Adopting the “best of all worlds” approach offers insurers significant benefits:

  • Ecosytem – Ease of connection with the digital ecosystem and insuretech partners via APIs
  • Omnichannel – A seamless omnichannel user experience and ease of transition from device to device
  • Agile TTM – Fast reaction time to business requirements
  • Scalability – Increased scalability for high traffic systems, as well as new services and features
  • Interoperable and future proof – Smooth communication between legacy systems and new apps

A multigrained approach offers insurers the best of all worlds (everything in moderation). It will empower you to maintain more complex services within a monolithic structure, while adopting micro, macro or mini services for the areas that require frequent innovation. With the flexibility and agility which will enable you to add value in a changing digital world.

Sapiens’ white paper, The Multigrained Services Evolution is Ideal for Insurers, offers a deeper dive on this subject and explores the evolution of microservices. Click here to learn more.