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Opinion: Digital transformation starts with one question: Who’s in charge here?

by  Alex Harari  |  21 Jul 2020

The new insurance normal means organizations must adapt to new customer expectations but also enable employees to work remotely.  But in our industry, there is a tendency to follow legacy as-is operational processes rather than think about new ways to cater to a digital customer journey, expand distribution channels, enhance relationships, and optimize the value proposition and profitability. Legacy thinking is driving decisions rather than customer needs.

Legacy-driven processes serve no-one

Legacy systems for insurance captured only what was necessary for the corporate record and accounting. And often this meant users would have to go into multiple applications plus Microsoft Word plus Microsoft Excel and enter the same data four or five times over. 

What’s more, distribution is integrated, so customers are easily frustrated when they want to access information digitally and in one place.  And if a customer calls for help, the legacy model means they are passed from department to department until they reach someone who can actually access the information they need. No wonder agencies that stick to this model find profitability elusive.

Customer-driven processes win for everyone

The new normal must focus on customer value at every interaction, creating the optimal journey to eliminate pain points, provide choices of contact, and maximize distribution options.

It must also provide one application for users that incorporates workflow, tasks, quotations, policy information, IBA, and document production. And it must offer seamless integration with Accord, Whitespace, PPL, ECOT / EBOT and London Market messaging as well as sales and marketing tool sets. Being customer-centric delivers greater efficiency, improved insight, and market competitiveness as its by-products. When customers come first, profits follow.

Don’t boil the ocean

Transformation such as this requires a major change in mindset and culture as well as technology and process. But it needn’t be achieved in one leap.  Aim first for the minimum value proposition (MVP) and go from there.  And keep in mind the rewards: optimized processes for customers and employees, increased productivity and profitability, and survival in a new digital insurance landscape.

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