Our Wired World

2018: A Great Year for Digital Resolutions

Six New Year’s resolutions for organizational growth

by Denise Garth

Ms. Garth is senior vice-president of marketing for Majesco, industry consultants with over two decades of experience in providing technology solutions, products and services for the insurance industry across lines of business – Property & Casualty (General Insurance), Life, Annuity, Health, Pensions, and Group & Worksite Benefits insurance. Reprinted with permission. Visit here.

When it comes to thinking about 2018, you may have already set some company goals and feel that your plans are in place. Implementing plans, however, can be difficult, and every plan has a tendency to change over the days and months that it grows into a reality. New Year’s Resolutions may not be the answer to all of your future issues, but they may help you to maintain focus on important end goals.

If you want to see your organization adapt to new market drivers, remain competitive and relevant, and position for growth in the Digital Insurance 2.0 world, consider these six areas as New Year’s Digital Resolutions.

We Will Focus Forward

The most important high-level resolution an organization can make will be to focus on the future by rapidly transitioning from Insurance 1.0 to Digital Insurance 2.0. Your Insurance 1.0 business model will continue to be valuable for meeting the traditional needs of your current customers. But Digital Insurance 2.0 is rapidly emerging with new business models, products and processes that meet the needs and digital expectations of a new generation of insurance buyers. The digital future is exciting, compelling and important enough to begin aggressively preparing for a new future of insurance and cutting our mental ties to many of our sacred past assumptions and philosophies.

We Will Wake Up to Shifting Customer Behaviors

What caused some insurers to be slower on the digital uptake in 2016 and 2017 was a general lack of understanding of the shift in customer expectations, among both consumers and business owners. Many insurers didn’t think that growing customer trends would dramatically alter their own products and services — or that customers were going to play such a large role in pushing technology adoption. They didn’t foresee that customers’ digital utilization would impact all industries, rewriting the idea of competition and removing any sense of loyalty and security.

Now, that’s history. Technologies allow start-ups to compete using customer-centricity, as opposed to products, as their value offering. And a new insurance paradigm is being crafted regardless of whether incumbent insurers choose, or are able, to play to compete in the era of Digital Insurance 2.0. For reference on just how deep these changes go, be sure to read Majesco’s research report, The New Insurance Customer – Digging Deeper: New Expectations, Innovations and Competition. Look for our research report on small-medium businesses later this month.

Every day in 2018 and beyond, we should attempt to be sensitive to the power of consumer opinion and behavior that will impact insurance. Our newfound sensitivity will allow us to become more innovative as we match our new technologies to consumer desires.

We Will Pursue Speed to Value

The best New Year’s resolutions are those where constant application will provide clear impact. When insurers link business drivers to cloud business platform capabilities, they can begin to prioritize their efforts based on speed to value and a logical progression toward digital expertise.

Realizing business value sooner with iterative rollouts is the essence of speed to value, a defining competitive element in the digital age. This includes Speed to implementation that provides the ability get up and running in weeks or a few months versus years; Speed to market where you can rapidly develop and launch new products or enter new states with ready to use rules and tools; and Speed to revenue that rapidly enables business growth with minimal upfront cost. Speed to value is redefining a new generation of market leaders that leaves traditional, slow to respond business models increasingly at risk of irrelevance.

We Will Build to Flex

What caused some insurers to be slower on the digital uptake in 2016 and 2017 was a general lack of understanding of the shift in customer expectations, among both consumers and business owners

Homes and buildings in earthquake-prone communities are now built or retrofitted to withstand the unexpected tremors (and risk) that would crack traditional foundations. Insurance can take a lesson from earthquake-proofing. Our operations are similarly prone to other kinds of “earth-shaking trends” and risk that require the business to flex without breaking.

Digital preparations must consider the unknown future. In everything insurers do, they should be removing rigidity and replacing it with agility and flexibility. Emerging technologies and connected devices will be adding value to insurers’ abilities to protect customers and compete with startups. But these technologies will only yield benefits to insurers who can quickly and efficiently plug them into a ‘find and bind’ architecture on a cloud business platform in order to beat out competitors with new service offerings. The same digital preparations apply to channel development. An omni-channel presence is a digital one, providing seamless customer experiences.

We Will Look for Greenfield Opportunities

Market opportunities are all around, emerging rapidly in a fast-changing world. The intense industry disruption from changing customer expectations, advancing technology and shifting market boundaries creates new risks and opportunities that many startups and Greenfields are taking advantage of. Likewise, a growing number of existing insurers are incubating new ideas and products to spur innovation and gain market insights and advantages. These opportunities are within growing segments that are underserved or unserved for both P&C (personal and commercial) and L&A (individual and group / worksite) market segments. For a deeper view on these opportunities, read A New Age of Insurance: Growth Opportunities for Commercial and Specialty Insurance in a Time of Market Disruption and the upcoming A New Age of Insurance: Growth Opportunity for Employee and Voluntary Benefits Insurance in a Time of Market Disruption reports.

These traditional insurers are finding that the best way to compete with startups is to be one — forming greenfield businesses that launch outside of current systems and processes for rapid new product development and market testing. Life insurers, for example, are ripe for greenfield developments that include digital products that leverage fitness trackers and mobile communications. Mass Mutual’s startup, Haven Life and John Hancock’s Vitality products are examples of insurers reaching new market segments via a new brand or new products. For an expanded view of Greenfield developments in insurance, read Greenfields, Startups and InsurTech: Accelerating Digital Age Business Models.

We Will Embrace the Platform Economy and the Shift to Digital Insurance 2.0

The next generation of core, digital and AI, cloud computing and partner ecosystems have opened a new door for insurers in the platform economy, creating the art of the possible by enabling agility, innovation and speed in a time for rapid market changes. Cloud deployment of digital-ready systems can unify an insurer’s environment and prepare it for growth. Just look at the growth and value of other companies using a platform model such as Apple, Uber, and now Lemonade.

The benefit of cloud platforms is in full swing, but from a utilization perspective, the insurance industry is only scratching the surface. For insurers preparing new “digital first” business models, new products, such as Pay-On-Demand, Pay- As-You-Use, or Pay-As-You-Need, the shift to cloud business platforms will be mandatory. The hallmark of a cloud business platform as a new business model paradigm is collaboration via data and information sharing and subscribing (not owning). As a result, traditional boundaries between insurers, partners, third-parties and even other industries are being replaced with market dynamics that open doors to improved operations and revenue outcomes.

Majesco is at the forefront of cloud platform innovation, helping insurers of all types to shift to Digital Insurance 2.0 models. For insurers that are building a case for a platform shift, Majesco’s recent Cloud Business Platform: The Path to Digital Insurance 2.0 white paper gives a clear case for why this particular resolution is crucial for 2018.

Whether you use these resolutions or adopt some of your own, Majesco is ready to serve you in your organizational shift to Digital Insurance 2.0. On behalf of everyone at Majesco, I sincerely wish you and your organization a Happy Digital New Year!