The Insurance CIO’s Imperative: Driving Sustained Digital ROI in the New Normal
September 7, 2021
On a global scale, insurers have invested billions of dollars into digital transformation initiatives. While the importance of pushing towards this shift is not new, events of the last 18 months have only added urgency to the need to transform.
According to a recent study, 85 percent of CIOs believe that COVID-19 accelerated the need to digitize their operations, with over 8 in 10 CIOs also stating the pandemic expedited the need to provide seamless digital experiences to their customers. Moreover, 70 percent insurers have already commenced incorporating digital strategies within existing workflows. While these figures are encouraging, there are still CIOs faced with fundamental challenges surrounding digital enablement.
To ensure that business operations remain resilient and sustainable in the new normal, digital momentum must be maintained. CIOs and CTOs must redefine roadmaps and proactively seek new strategies, prioritize investments and rethink their approaches to business issues.
The Need to Put the Right Focus in the Right Places
The pandemic created a distinct digital divide between companies that have resilient and adaptable digital capabilities and ones that do not. It also put existing insurance technologies to the test, further highlighting the importance of robust solutions that can quickly adapt to new challenges.
When it comes to the hurdles that stand in the way, many CIOs admit that the biggest challenge they face is a lack of visibility within their organizations, especially with regards to specific operations. To overcome this critical hurdle, CIOs must become more hands-on with the workings of their own organizations. Knowing the ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ can go a long way in deciding which business areas or processes require the most attention. Several key areas that CIOs need focus on to confidently drive positive change and realize significant digital ROI include:
- People, Processes and Technology: Understanding “who,” “how,” and “what” works, and doesn’t work, is a critical first step to digital adoption. Creating a single point of truth and allowing data sharing across the organization is an essential part of the digital transformation process. As long as core systems struggle to provide information to multiple endpoints, it will make digital transformation impossible.
- Automation: CIOs must read the market and leverage new solutions such as AI, intelligent automation, RPA and machine learning. Proactively determining where these technologies can be implemented will help automate repetitive processes so that critical tasks and processes like underwriting and claims handling can be focused on streamlined.
- Customer Experience: Customer expectations and needs continue to change, and focusing on positive consumer experience is key. Customers are more willing than ever before to switch to insurers who can give them the best experience even over insurers who they have long-valued. This means that insurers cannot just compete with other market players, but must also strive to differentiate their service to provide the best experience possible through personalized engagement, omni-channel support solutions, and prompt dispute resolutions.
- Cybersecurity: The current jump in remote working and decentralized workstations has made cybersecurity a top priority across industries. For insurers, taking the appropriate measures to protect financial and personal customer data is a responsibility they cannot take lightly. With the fear of data breaches at an all-time high, they must be willing to institute proper security protocols across all their endpoints, along with security solutions that allow for quick defense, detection and response in a proactive manner.
The CIO’s Playbook – Taking the Novel Approach to Digital Transformation
The pandemic and its fallout provided a much-needed push to insurers to digitize their processes and drive sustainable ROI outcomes. Short-term technology goals, spread across multiple stages, will open up new avenues for future-proofing businesses and ensuring long-term sustainability and resilience. For CIOs in particular, sticking to a simple playbook that focuses on key areas, and aligning the right resources to those areas will help position their businesses to grow beyond the constraints of the global crisis, and emerge as leaders in the insurance market.