New research, conducted by Forrester and commissioned by Accenture Interactive, shows that insurers are actively working to develop their digital capabilities but are far from achieving digital mastery. Across the three dimensions of digital transformation — organization, operational process, and technology — insurance carriers are making strides, but they are still struggling with traditional silos and a lack of integration and alignment.
To digitally transform means to put organizational, operational, and technological foundations in place that foster constant evolution and cross-functional collaboration. It is not a one-off investment or project. Here are some of the obstacles insurers face in making a successful transition:
Organizational silos: Insurers are in various stages of addressing the various facets of their digital strategy, but are still significantly impeded by their silos (technology, process, organization) from becoming integrated, efficient and customer-centric. But carriers are taking steps to address this challenge. In the coming year:
62% plan to establish new digital governance and transformation management
53% plan to assess the impact of digital as it relates to the customer experience
51% plan to transform their IT systems to make them more agile
49% plan to create digital-oriented collaboration or joint ventures with business partners
Who should “own” digital? There is no clear consensus on who should own and drive the digital vision and strategy. Currently, ownership is divided between the CEO (48%), the CIO (27%), the chief digital officer (8%) and other senior leaders (17%). Forrester argues that transformation is top-down, and there needs to be a credible customer-focused executive to lead the charge in establishing a strategy to embed digital capabilities across the enterprise.
Incomplete understanding of digital: Respondents listed their “organization” as the dimension of their business least ready to execute their digital strategy when compared with technology and operational processes. Insurers have room to continue to transform, as a minority of respondents “completely agree” that they have the technology (38%), operational processes (25%), and organization (30%) in place to execute their digital strategies effectively.
Measurement is lacking: The Forrester study reinforced the observed trend that metrics are a low priority for insurers, as “implementing the right digital metrics and measurement” came up as the least critical consideration to enabling a digital business among both personal and commercial-lines carriers.
In order to drive continued investment in digital transformation, digital decision-makers must measure and prove the value of their strategies. In the modern digital landscape, this means deviating from channel-siloed metrics to measure more complex cross-channel metrics over a series of interactions such as customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and customer lifetime value (CLV).
Register to download the full report: Spotlight on insurance: Customer experience is at the heart of digital transformation.