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December 17 2014 | Mark Breading

The word digital seems to be popping up everywhere, especially in insurance conversations these days. It’s not exactly a new concept, but the scope and pace of digitalization in the world means that insurers need a specific strategy to compete and win in the increasingly digital world. To that end, many insurers are striving to develop digital enterprise capabilities. The imperative today is to bring together a wide range of individual digital capabilities into a unifying framework, resulting in a holistic approach to becoming a digital insurer. SMA's Digital Insurer Framework is designed as a tool to assist insurers in these strategies. The framework provides a business architecture of the critical components required to become a digital insurer.

The Digital/Omni/Analytics Environment

Today, the heightened emphasis on the digital customer experience, the desire to create an omni-channel environment, and the necessity of becoming an analytics-driven business demand a review and a possible rethinking of traditional business and technology capabilities. In some cases the technology solutions to support a given capability are now outdated. In other cases, the solutions may be more modern, but they require more integration and coordination with other solutions that support transactions and interactions with prospects, producers, policyholders, and other constituents. And now, emerging technologies and new competitors are causing insurers to envision brand new business models and the technology solutions that enable and support them.

Digital Insurer Strategies

The options and choices are many. Most insurers have initiatives and projects scattered across the enterprise for mobile enablement, digital brand strategies, omni-channel operations, customer experience, and many others. Successfully becoming a digital insurer and winning in this new environment demands a clear vision, strategy, and roadmap. Insurers should consider digital strategies for the following eight areas to inform their vision and assist with a strategic roadmap:

  • Customer Experience: Leverage three mandatory characteristics necessary to engage and gain trust and loyalty from the customer by providing an experience that is personalized, consistent, and connected.
  • Omni-Channel: Integrate strategies for consistent branding, channel transparency, real-time updates, customer awareness, and the harmonization of digital content.
  • Unified Digital Strategies: Coordinate strategies for the brand, marketing communications, web, mobile, social, the Internet of Things, and other elements.
  • Data Management and Analytics: Optimize organizational and technological strategies to manage data, incorporate and leverage many different categories of data, leverage enterprise BI/Analytics, and capitalize on digital analytics for the web and enterprise.
  • Security: Implement a modern, holistic set of policies, processes, and technologies to protect company assets and operations.
  • Digital Content: Align strategies for a cohesive set of technologies for content creation, management, and usage, considering all manner of digital content formats.
  • Core Capabilities: Modernize foundational capabilities for insurance business functional areas such as underwriting, policy, billing and others to support the mobile, omni-channel, analytics oriented environment.
  • Infrastructure: Establish approaches and strategies for sourcing and implementation, including on-premises, cloud, SaaS, and outsourcing.

Becoming a digital insurer is a long-term, enterprise-wide endeavor for a company, opening doors to the new possibilities of a world that is far less physical and manual to one that is powered by new and emerging technologies and data, optimized operations, and new business and revenue models.

For more information on SMA’s Digital Insurer Framework, read SMA’s new research report, The Digital Insurer: A Framework for Enterprise Capabilities for the Digital Age. Contact Mark Breading for further information at mbreading@strategymeetsaction.com

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To learn more, please contact:
Mark Breading
Strategy Meets Action