To meet the evolving needs of today’s customers, and keep pace with emerging market trends, veteran insurance organizations need a technological framework that allows for both agility and scalability.
The challenge: Most of these organizations are faced with deeply-embedded, decades-old legacy technology that they must modernize to meet their complex, and diverse, organizational needs.
While this may seem like a tall order, creating a future-proof technology stack is possible. The key is to identify the barriers standing in the way of a successful transformation, and find the right solutions to address them.
Here, we outline three common challenges global insurance organizations are likely to encounter as they contemplate a digital transformation, and offer proven solutions to help them achieve long-term success.
Challenge #1: A decentralized organizational structure designed for business agility alone
Most global insurance organizations follow a decentralized model that’s broken down by group, country and market — then further still by products, services and business units.
While this set-up facilitates agile decision-making, it often leads to a highly complex tech environment. Because individual markets have more leeway, each market tends to build a tech stack that aligns with its needs. The organization as a whole, as a result, has multiple technologies that serve the same purpose; drastically increasing the strain placed on budget and the teams that maintain them. Consequently, there are often inconsistencies in digital customer experience and design, along with a lack of governance. Ultimately, this limits the resources available to foster digital innovation and scalability.
Developing a tailored Shared Services Model is one way to allow companies to retain the benefits of a decentralized structure, like business agility, without the technological downsides. Essentially, by carefully centralizing certain technological services, organizations can leverage technology to better empower employees and customers, while maintaining benefits like decision-efficacy and efficiency that accompany a decentralized business structure.
Challenge #2: Absent or outdated digital design systems
Aside from technological downsides, a decentralized organizational structure also lays the groundwork for inconsistencies in design and experience. With markets taking the lead on what’s most suitable for their customers and a lack of communication across the board, maintaining consistency globally isn’t always highest on the list of priorities. With absent or outdated centralized guidelines on how to build on existing digital experiences, design teams often have a difficult time aligning the needs of the end user with the organizational brand.
A Global Design system (GDS) is an effective way to address these challenges. Essentially, GDS turns organizational brand guidelines into atomic digital components – allowing teams to build products and solutions that meet the needs of the internal teams at the market level and customers while offering a look and feel that’s consistent with the organization’s brand at large.
The result: a more intuitive and consistent user experience; increased agility to help teams get to market faster; and improved governance.
Challenge #3: Resistance to change
New technological infrastructure is only effective if employees are willing to use it. All too often, however, global organizations go through the expense of investing in new technological tools and processes that employees are wary to embrace.
There are countless reasons for this. Employees may simply be unwilling to battle through the learning curve that comes with a new tool—or they may feel the system doesn’t meet their needs. Alternatively, they could have had a bad experience with organizational change initiatives in the past, making them unwilling to venture down that road again.
To help employees overcome these barriers—and actually use your organization’s expensive new technology investment—it’s important to devise a strong change management strategy. The right strategy will make sure you’re involving employees from the outset, addressing potential objections, prioritizing continuous improvement and rolling out changes in an organized fashion so as to give employees time to adjust.
Most important, it will create the necessary framework to ensure people are at the center of your technological transformation.
Overcome the challenges
While these challenges are common, they don’t have to sabotage your digital transformation journey. With a tailored Shared Services Model, Global Design System and Change Management Strategy, along with an incremental approach, it’s possible to replace your legacy technology with modern tools and processes that can evolve in pace with your organization for years to come.
For a deeper dive into how these solutions work—as well as tips for effectively implementing them—download our whitepaper, Modernizing Technology Insurance.