Last week I started a two-part series about a new Nokia (News - Alert) (done by its former Alcatel-Lucent subject matter experts) insurance industry focused white paper and its discussion on how insurers must deliver multichannel experiences to better address always-on consumers. This week let’s take a look what these businesses actually need to do to make that happen.
As the white paper, The digital transformation of insurance: The forces, influences and benefits driving change, explains, the critical components involved in making this transformation are:
- A communications platform
- A private cloud
Indeed, industry analysts at IDC (News - Alert) note that the cloud is the foundation of digital transformation. However, while many companies have embraced public cloud services for such applications as CRM, HR, and email applications, the authors contend that the private cloud can best address large insurers’ mission-critical applications.
“With a private cloud, insurers can get the programmability, security and control they need — while still bursting to the public cloud as needed,” notes the white paper, explaining that the private cloud can be more responsive than public clouds by employing software-defined networking (SDN) technology.
Moving on to the discussion about platforms, the white paper also explains the importance of breaking down communications silos that now commonly exist between company locations, departments, and product lines – and that prevent customers from having a consistent experience between communication channels and company solutions.
Security, as noted is also one of the key pillars of digital transformation for insurers, perhaps the most front-and-center concern, as well as companies in most other verticals which deal with millions of records of customers. In fact, insurance companies by the very nature of the personal as well as transactional/claims information, make tremendously inviting targets as we have seen from recent headlines.
The authors explain that private clouds leveraging SDN with built-in security and security APIs can enable insurance companies significantly mitigate risks across a variety of vectors of vulnerability.
“The use of policies automates and streamlines the management of applications, user, or branch security and permissions from a centralized location,” the white paper notes, “while virtually eliminating the chance of human error during deployment or management.”
The latter point about eliminating human errors is non-trivial. For anyone who has every dealt with an insurance claim, the possibility of things having been entered incorrectly which can cause late or denied payment is a seemingly universal concern regardless of the insurance line of business. In short, digital transformations are about the combined objectives of being operational more efficient and providing an enhanced customer experience. And, in a vertical where truly dynamic changes are afoot from the back office to all aspects of operations touched by customers, there is an increasing sense of urgency for insurers to undergo digital transformation or suffer the competitive consequences.
Edited by Peter Bernstein