Key shifts in the insurance industry are precipitating deep, disruptive waves of change. These shifts have insurers rethinking every aspect of the business, from their relationship with customers, intermediaries, and partners to the products and services they bring to market. They’re thinking about how to engage and enable collaboration; how to innovate; and how to harness the power of service-provider ecosystems.
In an industry that is rapidly changing, and whose future remains uncertain, we see digital insurers best positioned for success when they focus on three key areas:
Insurers need to develop a strategic vision for the new customer experience that is built around true customer centricity and includes a shift in the basic value proposition from one of commoditized indemnification to one of delivering rich, continuous value. They must develop products and services that fill the “white space” between purchase and claim and help customers achieve whatever personal or family goals they may deem important.
This level of engagement requires seamless interaction between customers, insurers, intermediaries and partners. It can deliver a highly personalized, tailored experience throughout the customer lifecycle and, when working well, will turn claims into opportunities to delight, and beneficiaries into word-of-mouth advocates or even new customers.
Unlocking the power of information is essential to making the shift from an operationally focused, policy-centric business to one that’s focused on behavior and customer experience. It begins by better leveraging the data that already resides within the enterprise, and augmenting what you have with data you acquire from outside sources and data you earn from customers and prospects.
It also means investing in a new breed of platforms and tools that enable both traditional and new forms of analysis across a wide range of data sources and structures. Real-time data, low-level sensor data, and the vast amounts of unstructured digital data together represent an untapped gold mine of insights and information.
Finally, it means leveraging that information at the edge, to make better real-time decisions and to deliver an improved, more personalized customer experience. It’s about developing a deeper and richer understanding of market needs, at both a segmented and an individualized customer level, and using that understanding to engage and deliver a branded experience on a continual basis – weekly, daily or even hourly.
Of course, these same platforms and tools can be turned inward to better understand the business, operations, employees, and partners, creating insights that will help drive improved business performance.
The pace of innovation happening outside the enterprise, the growing number of new entrants, and the need for insurers to deliver a richer set of value-added services together make it essential that today’s insurer is tapping into the power of the as-a-Service and API economies.
Consume and be consumable is the new mantra, whether it’s in the context of elastic cloud infrastructure, subscription-based software, or increasingly granular and easily consumed API services. The goal of the business is reduced cost along with improved agility and speed to innovation. The implication for IT is a shift from builder and steward to integrator and aggregator. It also means that business and IT must evolve their working relationship, embracing best practices from the challenger community including lean management and agile, scrum-based development.
While mastering any one of competencies is a challenge, today’s insurers must deal with all of them at the same time. However, the effort is more than worth the returns and, more so, essential to industry survival.
Read more in the white paper, Key Shifts Mark the Path to Digital Insurance.
As the chief technology officer for CSC’s Global Insurance business, Brian Wallace drives technology strategy, client-focused solution development, and the ongoing alignment of CSC’s capabilities to the needs of the insurance industry. He engages with clients, prospects and partners around digital disruption and the future of the insurance industry. Connect with him on LinkedIn.