There’s no denying the year of the digital platform has arrived in insurance. As McKinsey puts it (article link below), society’s growing reliance on digital technologies is reshaping customer expectations and redefining boundaries across industries, a trend that’s equally affecting insurance. As traditional industry borders recede, collections of digital business platforms are forming ecosystems to become the new foundation around which markets are organizing. This makes digital platforms the new table stakes.
Our industry is now acknowledging the inevitability of digital business ecosystems and the need for digital transformations in order to compete. However, as many insurers are still consumed with their core system modernizations, most carriers are just beginning to grapple with pursuing a digital transformation.
To start, it’s important to understand the definition and purpose of a digital platform. According research and advisory firm Gartner, a digital platform is a set of technology solutions that are combined in a business-driven manner to enable digital interactions between communities of partners, providers and customers. Critical to this model is infusing a digital platform with capabilities that allow members to connect, reconnect and evolve an ecosystem rapidly as marketplace needs change.
Proven framework delivers success
When we partner with clients to create a digital platform, the first step is helping develop a transformation strategy using our proven digital framework. This framework ensures you identify your business strategy, analyze your existing IT environment to determine what’s necessary for achieving your business strategy and then developing a plan to evolve your IT environment accordingly.
A key outcome of our framework is infusing your digital platform with five essential capabilities for success. These five essential capabilities are: rapid app development, fast and effective integration, cloud enablement, IT service management and robust data & analytics.
Let’s take a closer look at each essential capability.
1. Rapid App Development
Unlike traditional long development and QA cycles, rapid app development favors quickly producing working software, gaining immediate feedback and then iterating rapidly. The objective is creating immersive and natural engagement experiences, on whatever digital channels a customer chooses, that can be evolved swiftly as needs and expectations change. Adopting rapid app development technologies helps you pursue new market opportunities while simultaneously providing the exceptional experiences required for winning new customers.
2. Fast and Effective Integration
Similar to rapid app development, successful platforms enable quickly and effectively integrating with partners to leverage new market opportunities and distribution channels. Technologies such as open APIs, microservices and integration-oriented architectures are fundamental to fast and effective integration. Such capabilities also enable you to improve your internal integration between products, services and operations to become more nimble and responsive.
3. Cloud Enablement
Moving infrastructure and operations to the cloud enables you to optimize your IT environment and leverage automation, which provides flexibility for scaling your business and improving profitability. A well-designed and implemented cloud environment supplies insurers the right tools, storage and network to develop and deploy applications according to business needs.
4. IT Service Management
Internal user experiences are just as important to competitiveness and profitability as customer experiences. By automating service management, you can streamline internal processes and provide consumer-like experiences for your employees. Incorporating IT Service Management into your digital platform can significantly improve employee engagement, help attract top talent and positively boost retention.
5. Robust Data & Analytics
Data is the foundation for achieving innovation with digital initiatives and it’s abundantly available. The trick is having the right data strategy for harnessing and using data, in order to provide you with the ability to make informed decisions, drive smart actions and bring transformational value to your business. Robust data & analytics enables improving products and services, gaining deeper insights into customer needs, developing new revenue streams and updating business models.
From our deep industry experience, we’ve seen how these five capabilities can make or break the success of an insurer’s digital platform. That’s why establishing strength in these five capabilities will help ensure you’re ready to win in a rapidly evolving, ecosystem-driven marketplace. Learn how we can help you develop these five capabilities through our Digital & Cloud and DataLeverage services. To find out more about ValueMomentum, click here.