Tag Archives: digital transformation in insurance

10 Essential Actions for Digital Success

Becoming a digital insurer is an essential requirement for being competitive in insurance today – but even more so for the future. Your digital strategy becomes the framework from which to leverage all other transformational initiatives, not only for the customer experience but for the employee and operational experiences, as well. This process requires clarity on priorities, focus and mindset to determine the path, the sequence and the right investments to reach the ultimate goal – going beyond a digital experience to transformation.

See also: Seeing Through Digital Glasses  

Our research shows us that while no single insurer is doing everything, every insurer is doing something, and some are doing more than others. So, how do you ensure you are doing the right things at the right times and in the right sequence? The following is a list the 10 essential actions required for success as you develop and execute your digital strategy:

  1. Understand Digital as a New Lens: Digital strategy touches aspects of all strategies – business, technology and operational plans, as well – consider it a new lens for clarity about the possibilities and linkage to strategies and plans.
  2. Obtain Executive Sponsorship: Given the transformational potential, digital requires buy-in from the top – the CEO/board level – to set the tone, priority, urgency and funding to create a new value proposition.
  3. Assign a Champion: Create a position for one executive with the vision, the power and the resources to champion your company’s digital transformation strategy. This role cuts across the enterprise, not just business or IT.
  4. Be Clear on the Definition: Define a consistent and comprehensive definition of “digital” across the company and recognize that there is a difference between digital and the customer experience. It’s essential to establish clarity on “what it is” and “what it is not.”
  5. Solicit Input: Ignite the synergy by gaining input and insights from the customers – policyholders, agents, brokers – and employees, as well. Set new experience standards and guidelines, leverage journey mapping, develop personas and create service blueprints.
  6. Understand Gaps and Opportunities: Conduct an assessment to identify the current gaps and future opportunities. Understand what the market leaders are investing in today, the lessons learned and implications for the future.
  7. Balance Customer and Operational: Remember to move up the SMA Digital Maturity Model diagonally – investing in both the external and internal experiences to create a seamless end-to-end experience.
  8. Leverage Emerging Technologies, Data and Advanced Analytics: Move beyond core modernization activities, and innovate with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), interactive voice response (IVR), microservices and open APIs that are available. Expand the application of external data, advanced analytics and big data. Explore the world of insurtech – partner, pilot and learn from their lessons-learned pivots.
  9. Create the Strategy and Road Map: Define the strategy, plan and begin to execute. Understand that this a journey. Plan five years out, but be prepared to adjust annually – because things are changing, maturing and pivoting around insurance.
  10. Rethink the Business of Insurance: Last but not least, take the opportunity to reimagine every aspect of your company. It’s not about implementing more and more projects, or just investing in technology. It’s about creating the new fabric of your company’s culture and business model.

These 10 actions are a significant effort for any company, but they are required. Just be mindful that all of them are not required on day one. This list can also serve as a reminder that digital transformation is a journey that will morph into something we cannot even define today. Over the next several years, each step and each accomplishment will be foundational to becoming a Next-Gen Insurer.

Extraordinary change is taking place throughout our insurance industry and the world around us. Digital transformation is the one strategic initiative that will set the foundation, set the context and set the direction for the next-generation insurance company you need to become – so let’s go and make it happen!

See also: Digital Innovation in Life Insurance  

For more insights on digital transformation – read our latest SMA report, Digital Transformation in Insurance: Discovering the Pathway to Digital Maturity.

Seeing Through Digital Glasses

Extraordinary change is taking place throughout the insurance industry and everything that surrounds it. The whole world is going digital. It’s the new reality, and there is no getting around it. But just the word or even the idea of digital has many people, insurers included, pondering the basic and fundamental questions: Why do we need to be digital? How do we go digital? And what, exactly, is digital anyway? To get a visual of what digital means for insurance, look through the lens of digital transformation.

Defining Digital

Defining digital is important because it is a very broad topic with far-reaching implications. Simply put (and without getting into the science behind it), digital is a way of doing things. And becoming digital is a state that will be required for moving around in the digital world: communicating, shopping, traveling, doing business, keeping a competitive edge and much, much more.

See also: Future of Digital Transformation  

Going Digital

Digital is such a broad concept that it is easy to get too narrowly focused on just one part of the everything that makes up digital. For example, digital is a format for storing assets of many kinds; it is a way of transmitting data and information from one place to another, and it is a way of interacting with data. But that’s not all. The digitization of assets is just the first phase or step on a pathway that will lead to the next phase of digital: creating the digital experience.

The experiential phase of digital begins when digital assets come into use. Now digital becomes the method that undergirds the interaction. Digital assets are transmitted digitally to create digital experiences via portals, mobile apps, websites, sensors, wearables and many other digital things.

In the third phase, digital transformation, digital presence and capabilities go beyond to an expanded and progressive digital experience that touches everything, connects the parts, resets the expectations, broadens the horizons and transforms the lives of everyone it touches.

Being Digital

For insurers, the journey of digital transformation will involve rethinking an insurer’s value proposition and internal business operations, embracing data and advanced analytics, creating and supporting all means of engagement and automation across all the company and delivering enriched customer solutions that are thoroughly integrated with internal operations as a seamless, personalized experience from start to finish and everywhere in between.

Digital is the thread that will connect and unite all systems, processes and strategic initiatives and tie them together into an enterprise that is ready for the future. And digital transformation is the strategic initiative that will set the foundation, set the context and set the direction for the next-generation insurance company.

See also: Digital Transformation: How the CEO Thinks  

In our new report, Digital Transformation in Insurance: Discovering the Pathway to Digital Maturity, SMA introduces its Digital Maturity Model, a model for developing a digital strategy that will be fundamental to success in the digital world, both today and tomorrow.  Click here for a copy.