Business Continuity Management and Digital Roadmaps
Many insurance companies, if not all, already have a digital roadmap. Not leaving the field to the insurtechs, meetings customers’ need for speed and communication, not getting left behind, being modern and contemporary, and operating cost-efficiently:
These are just some of the reasons why companies have adopted a digital roadmap setting down a timeline for the tasks involved in technical innovation and the gradual transformation of their operational business. The latest argument gains its weight from a situation we could have all done without: business continuity management. The digital roadmap now needs an urgent overhaul to take better account of the need to assure continuity in a crisis.
Let’s first look at a number of theses that are relevant to this topic:
Paper will be banished, both from the office and everywhere else
Information on paper can't be recycled in structured form. Besides that, it’s bad for the environment and has the habit of being precisely where you’re not when you need it. As long as there’s still paper in your office, you’ll be a beginner in terms of your digital roadmap and a prime suspect at the top of the data protection authority’s watchlist.
Desktop PCs will be a thing of the past
Desktop PCs tie people to their desks. By definition, business continuity management means that employees have to be able to take their basic working tools and materials with them. This only works with mobile devices.
Home office will be (a) standard
In recent weeks all of us have woken up to the fact that many tasks can be handled from home, even though many organizations still have no comprehensive model of remote leadership (Assuring Productivity When Your Team Is Working from Home). Home offices might become even more widespread.
Very few meetings will be face-to-face
Physical meetings will be less and less common, if only because not everyone will be in the office. Given the challenges of reducing the carbon footprint, this will certainly also apply to business travel.
All insurers will advise customers and enable them to take out insurance online
This is nothing new, and it’s something that’s technically easy to implement. There are already companies providing complete online advice and purchasing processes, in some cases incorporating the different roles involved, such as risk assessment and underwriting. Some sub-processes are supported by AI tools, enabling customers to take out legally watertight insurance contracts without sacrificing the quality of the advice they receive.
The (new) ideal insurance company architecture
Apply all the points mentioned above to the current structure of a traditional insurer and you basically get an insurtech that remains fully operational and able to do business even in situations like the one we currently find ourselves in. In other words, you’ll have a company that can shift into crisis mode from one day to the next.
This company’s processes are automated, decentralized staff working from home handle daily business, and service center staff field calls from customers on their laptops at home. The people in sales are expert in online sales. Leaders have decentralized access to management tools and are able to steer the business remotely.
Under «normal» circumstances this insurance company benefits from a high degree of automation, and both its customers and employees benefit from that human contact that’s so important. From a BCM point of view, in the event of crisis this core is ready to roll and tackle any business transaction.
One question will be key to transformation: is my current IT and organizational structure up to it? There are solutions on the market that can be implemented relatively quickly, laid over the existing system landscape like new bodywork over an old chassis, and covering the basic ground set down in the digital roadmap 2.0.