How Insurance CIOs Can Lead Digital Transformation – Cognizant
Article Synopsis :
Going digital means rapidly evolving in an agile, cost effective and user friendly way. Insurance CIOs need to adopt new work styles and mindsets, including collaborative partnerships and an eye for innovation. Cognizant’s “How Insurance CIOs Can Remake Themselves to Lead Digital Transformation” aims to help CIOs succeed in this new context.
In late 2016, Cognizant surveyed 200 CIOs in North America across banking, P&C insurance, healthcare and the life sciences industries. This report focuses exclusively on the responses provided by 50 CIOs from the P&C insurance industry.
The survey reveals most CIOs, not surprisingly, still operate in their comfort zone, no matter how much they feel the need to digitally transform.
The industry, based on the survey responses, does realise the importance of digital transformation and that digitisation is about more than automation. The top 3 digital priorities cited carrying the highest ROIs include, 1) Usage-based insurance, 2) Omni-channel experience across devices, and 3) Robo-advisers.
According to 78% of respondents, the CIO will evolve as a digital strategist and transformation leader, while also working at the executive level as a functional leader running IT. Key skills in high demand for emerging CIOs include:
- A Partnership-Driven, Collaborative Approach: CIOs must be able to collaborate with organisation-wide CxOs to create a digital road map leveraging technology investments and delivery capabilities. Collaboration could be around customer experience, customer-centric KPIs, and innovation workshops. Another level of collaboration can and should be with technology start-ups.
- An Eye for Innovation: CIOs must be sensitive to customer behaviors and desires and build a dynamic ecosystem responsive to same. CIOs must be up-to-date with the latest industry trends and deploy creative solutions. One way to do this could be to set up a standalone start-up culture conducive to innovation.
- Analytics: CIOs must drive analytics to help in risk assessment and pricing optimisation, as well as in developing marketing strategies and customer experience. CIOs must deploy analytics tools and intelligence to derive more meaning and insights from the data sets stuck in legacy systems.
- Chief Talent Officer: To encourage digital transformation, CIOs must view themselves as Chief Talent Officer, IT evangelist, and/or Chief Inclusion Officer to drive talent acquisition, skilling, and cross collaboration within the organization.
CIOs should, per the report, focus on only a handful of high-impact initiatives at a time and develop a compelling story around what these could accomplish. By doing so, they can both see digital in a more tangible and concrete way themselves, as well as repeat the story to others.
To fully benefit from digital opportunity, CIOs must transition away from a “service oriented” role, to working alongside their fellow C-suiters, in a partnership position.
It has become nothing short of a digital CIO imperative to plug and play in industry ecosystems — even ones that extend beyond insurance — to enable more contextual and relevant services.
Lastly, CIOs should keep current with consumer use of technology so they can anticipate what the “ask” is behind a user request and think innovatively about the response and potential solution.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsMany CxOs think ‘digital’ and ‘IT’ are the same thing—but they’re not. Digital is 1) the conversion of physical atoms to bits, and 2) the exposure of bits to consumers, be they internal, external, or machines.
Scanning a paper document to .pdf, for example, digitizes that document. That’s simple enough. On the other hand, 80% of insurer customer data is in the mainframe, and has been for forty years. Though technically ‘digital’ it’s not ‘usable’ in the digital realm, for things such as mobile apps, self-service portals, or analytics. It’s this second part of the definition – the usability of data in a digital age – that requires creativity, vision, guts, and a whole lot of smarts. Insurance CIOs are no longer custodians of legacy systems. They must be change agents driving innovation in the digital age.
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