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Keeping up with P&C insurance technology is difficult without key terminology nailed down—terms like SaaS, core system, cloud, and on-prem. We dive into the key InsurTech jargon you should know.

Origami Risk is a cloud-based platform with a multi-tenant SaaS architecture, but what does that even mean?

Industry jargon can sometimes feel like it’s moving at the speed of light, leaving many of us in the dust as we try to keep up with new and evolving definitions, many of which change completely depending on their context. Whether you’re looking into new P&C insurance technology in 2021 and don’t want to get bogged down on, are new to the industry and trying to get your footing, or are just looking for a refresher on the insurance-specific tech terminology that’s being thrown around, we’ve got you covered. 

  • InsurTech: Sometimes spelled as “InsureTech,” this term combines the words “insurance” and “technology,” and is typically used to refer to a broad range of technological innovations, solutions, or various technologies that are used across the insurance industry. The ultimate goal of insurTech is to drive efficiency, cost savings, and scalability.
  • Core System: For insurers, a core system is typically a policy, billing, or claims administration solution that is the system of record for that area of the business. Typically, insurers use either a software suite or collection of core systems from different vendors. Core systems may or may not include solutions for digital and data needs (i.e., dashboards, analytics, push notifications, etc.). When researching core systems, insurance providers should be sure to ask vendors what’s required to power portals and analytics. Origami Risk is an all-in-one core system platform with digital and data solutions.
  • Software Suite: A platform of related solutions, programming, or applications that share a similar user interface and enable the seamless exchange of data between applications within the suite. For insurance providers, a suite will typically include solutions for policy, billing, and claims within the same platform. Origami Risk is an insurance solution suite provider.
  • SaaS: An acronym for “Software as a Service,” SaaS is a category of cloud computing services that refers to web-based software that is centrally hosted and available on-demand to licensed users. Origami Risk is a SaaS company. More detail on SaaS can be found on TechRadar
  • Single-Tenant: Refers to a single instance of a software system and its infrastructure that supports a single customer (hence, single-tenant). Single-tenants have their own, independent database and version (or instance) of the software, meaning a vendor manages numerous instances depending on their customer load. Single-tenant clients can customize the software according to their specific needs. However, this can mean higher maintenance costs for the vendor and client, as well as less frequent upgrades and maintenance as compared to multi-tenant systems.
  • Multi-Tenant: Refers to a single instance of an application with a single configuration (hardware, network, operating system) that all clients use (hence, multi-tenant), meaning a vendor manages a single instance of their software no matter the number of clients. This approach makes it easier for vendors to keep clients on the most updated version of the software with, usually, regular maintenance and rollouts and requires that all clients are on the same version. Individual clients may configure the software to affect the look and feel of their instance. The majority of SaaS vendors are built on multi-tenant architecture. 
  • Cloud: Sometimes referred to as “cloud computing,” the cloud is “the delivery of different services through the Internet [...] and can include tools and applications like data storage, servers, database, networking, and software,” according to Investopedia. The cloud is an alternative to on-premise storage (more about on-premise below) and enables devices with Internet access to gain entry to said databases, networks, software, etc. from virtually anywhere. Origami Risk, DropBox, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are examples of cloud computing.
  • Private Cloud: Servers that are hosted by consumers either on-premise, or in third-party data centers, in a personal environment. IBM Cloud Private is an example of a private cloud provider.
  • Public Cloud: Service providers host in their own data centers on an infrastructure that is shared with other cloud consumers. Examples of public cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Origami Risk hosts its software on Amazon Web Services, a public cloud. 
  • Hybrid Cloud: As the name suggests, is a blend (i.e., hybrid) of storage, computing, and services environments that combine both public and private cloud services in an on-premise infrastructure.
  • Cloud Orchestration: Put simply by TechRadar, it is the “solution to keeping all the clouds in sync.” With many organizations using a hybrid cloud approach, cloud orchestration works to manage and automate multiple workloads across a number of cloud solutions, simplifying a potential IT nightmare. 
  • Agile: A method of software development and project management that approaches the discovery of requirements and solution development in a collaborative environment in coordination with clients and cross-functional teams. An agile approach divides tasks into small phases of work, or “sprints,” with frequent reevaluations, with the expectation that plans can be adapted. Origami Risk adapts an agile approach to its software development. More about agile software development on Atlassian.
  • On-Prem(ise): A practice of hosting software, services, data, etc., on site (on-premise) or on employee computers, and utilizes the company’s own hardware, servers, and/or data centers as opposed to a third-party facility or the cloud.
  • Managed Hosting: Also referred to as a dedicated hosting service or dedicated server, is a type of Internet hosting where providers lease an entire, dedicated server to a single customer, that is then managed by the provider.

Have key InsurTech terms that you think should be included on this list? Email us at Check out Origami Risk’s other related InsurTech resources: