With insurers facing an ever-increasing use of technology in their daily activities, the pressure is on for chief information officers to anticipate both current and future needs – for the companies they represent and the customers they hope to keep.

That is Novarica’s main conclusion in a newly issued report designed to help insurers prepare for the digital transformation to come. At the risk of stating the obvious, it is no small task.

“Future CIOs need to facilitate and support business transformation efforts to ensure an effective digital channel to the customer that is fully linked to all of the insurer’s back-end business processes and technologies,” Novarica asserted in its report summary.

“Digital is far more than replacing or upgrading technology packages or infrastructures,” Novarica said. “Digital strategy means reexamining all aspects of customer engagement and company operations in the light of modern information and communication technologies.”

There are a number of things CIOs can do to help the insurers they represent achieve their digital transformation goals, Novarica said. They include:

  • Make sure you can spot both trends and business processes that will be affected by the digital revolution. This includes everything from the “internet of things” (all things being IP enabled), to social media, big data, cloud computing and security.
  • Within that context, identify any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that exist on the way to technical transformation.
  • Understand the maturity of key practice areas, including business architecture, application architecture and security.
  • Be able to conceptualize future capabilities and needs your business will face. Questions to address include determining how the firm wants to modify its interaction with customers, business partners and regulators, and figuring out what the competition is doing.
  • Do whatever you can to optimize the process of project prioritization.
  • Take on a “test-and-learn” culture for digital transformation. In other words, don’t be afraid to embrace and then tackle the digital changes as they become a part of day-to-day operations.

The road to digital transformation won’t be an easy one, Novarica said in its report. Why?

“The complexity of concurrent business and IT transformation ensures a long and difficult evolution of the business and revolutionary change in order to guarantee the outcome,” Novarica said.

Novarica consults for financial services and insurance executives on areas including markets, operations and technology.

Source: Novarica