History has witnessed different technology revolutions: the commercial revolution within the late 1700s, the information and telecommunications revolution within the mid 1900s and also the digital revolution of the present. Each revolution has taken advantage of the brand new technologies of its day, creating disruption, innovation and business transformation. Businesses have either grown or died depending on how they adapted to and innovated using the new technology and responded to customers' reactions and expectations.
Today is no different. But it's a lot more intense. The digital revolution has been powered by today's hyper-connected world and the convergence of multiple influencers — maturing technologies, emerging technologies, the shared economy and demographic trends, to mention just a few. And the revolution is creating experiences, products and services, new outcomes and start up business and revenue models. It is generating an explosion of information from new and emerging technologies for example mobile, social media and the Internet of Things.
The mixture of these factors is transforming existing businesses and creating brand new ones within insurance. From managing value chains in managing ecosystems, the company transformation is run by the fusion of technology and data. Simultaneously, these 4 elements and also the pervasive use of technology are lowering the entry barriers for disruptors and competitors using their company industries, changing the competitive landscape for insurance in profound ways.
In today's new world, Next-Gen insurers should be digital insurers. They have to reimagine themselves and embrace the entire breadth and depth of the mature and emerging technologies which are changing customer engagement, transforming products and services, redefining business and revenue models and breaking down the barriers to new entrants, as discussed in SMA's “The Next-Gen Insurer: Fueled by Innovation” research report. Insurers must embrace digitalization to reshape the way their businesses approach value creation and provide an engaging customer experience. Nowadays, insurers must change from managing value chains in managing ecosystems to power their businesses as digital companies.
Many insurers indicate that they are around the strategic journey toward becoming a digital insurer. They're making investments in digital initiatives and technologies, often inside a tactical and reactionary approach that's reflected in fragmented strategies and investments in technologies. Forays into new websites, smart-phone apps, agent portals, customer portals, collaboration, connected environments and social media are a start, however these can lead to an inconsistent and incomplete customer experience. More importantly, they might delay the establishment of a competitive digital business design foundation with technology embedded. The issue is these silo-based approaches lack a strategic framework that cohesively includes the unified digital strategy that will end up being the driver of market differentiation, business growth, innovation, collaboration and profitability.
A unified digital strategy sees that all business strategies and technologies touch the customer in some manner which a one-size-fits-all channel model is obsolete. In today's digital world, what this means is making a serious commitment to provide real ease-of-doing-business based on customer expectations for every type of interaction through any channel, via any device, to win and retain customers. The strategic components of a unified digital strategy will connect the right people, processes, and technologies.
The unified digital technique is multi-dimensional and brings together regions of business technique to drive design and develop efficiency and consistency, while providing the foundation for unified experiences across all the customer touch points, now and in the near future. All these business strategies reflect existing, new and emerging aspects based on the influence of demographics, behaviors and technologies. The techniques include the brand strategy, marketing communication strategy, customer relationship strategy, web strategy, mobile strategy, IoT/connected strategy, social strategy, collaboration strategy and intranet strategy.
Today's and tomorrow's insurance customers are looking for a lot more than interacting online. They are searching for choice, engagement, social alignment and much more. Some insurers have begun or are well along around the digital transformation journey. But becoming a Next-Gen Insurer that will be acknowledged as a digital leader demands both technology and leadership dimensions that slowly move the company forward inside a coordinated and effective way.
From a technology perspective, the digital insurer business architecture framework provides a transformation road map to evaluate and define a path that can help advice the organizational change, leveraging a wide-array of technologies from core business methods to emerging technologies like mobile, the web of products, collaboration and analytics. In the leadership dimension, digital leaders seek capabilities that envision and drive the transformation across the organization in a coordinated, consistent manner. These digital leaders work over the traditional departments and silos of an organization to ensure that the strategies are cohesive and dealing toward the common vision to shape a brand new future brought about and inspired by technology change.
Becoming an electronic insurer demands leadership from the top and leadership to drive digital transformation. This involves a unified digital strategy fortified by existing, new and emerging technologies.
So embrace digital world. Re-envision yourself as a digital business. Begin to see the possibilities. Define a unified digital strategy that brings the business strategies and technologies together to cohesively guide your transformation. Make it, because the digital future has already been well here.