Digital is changing insurance, and its changing fast. I believe that most established insurers understand that. It’s why they are beginning to invest heavily in digital technology. Top of their agenda is how to respond to two compelling forces; ever increasing customer expectations; and the rise of the pureplay insurance disruptors.
But are they moving quickly enough? Andrew Brem, Chief Digital Officer at Aviva, told the UK’s Financial Times, that, “The entire industry is focused on how life was lived five or ten years ago.” A statement which suggests that more work needs to be done. Urgently. The FT also quoted a survey of insurers carried out by brokers, Willis Towers Watson, which revealed that 74% of respondents felt the industry was failing to show leadership in digital innovation.
I don’t think the situation is as bad as you might infer from these findings. Insurers are thinking about tomorrow, but they’re acting like the responsible, measured people they are. Insurance, after all, is based on calculating risk and pricing it correctly. The risk of rushing into digital technologies too fast is that you don’t achieve the outcomes you want or even expect.
That’s why I believe that co-creation with the right expert partner is so important. Insurers need to listen to their customers – from consumers to organizations in all sectors – and use the data to create a strategy for how their business will grow, adapt, develop the ability to beat the competition and, ultimately, delight customers.
And it isn’t the technology that counts the most. As Gartner emphasized in a report published in August, “Technology capabilities such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), while hot, are not differentiators in and of themselves. Technology business unit leaders in IT services firms seeking to lead the market in the insurance industry must embed technology innovation within a clear vision for the future of the industry.”
Insurers are expecting a lot from automation and digital tools like AI and, of course, the Internet of Things (IoT). Those technologies are already transforming how insurance products work. They are enabling fraud reduction, risk mitigation, more efficient handling of paperwork (especially in claims) and enabling better ways to price products linked to specific customer needs and behaviors.
There isn’t one kind of future insurer; there is only the insurer you want to be. That should be planned and developed to suit your needs and deliver the outcomes you want. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach that can be bought off the shelf. In our opinion, working closely with a partner through consultancy is the right way to identify what you need and create the roadmap that will get to you there.
That’s why Fujitsu emphasizes its consultative approach. Yes, we offer all the technologies you will need – we’re investing heavily in IoT ($2.6bn to be precise) and we can help you automate for efficiency, and boost the power of Big Data to help you see more and manage risk better – but the first thing we do is talk to you. We have the experience to help: we’ve been operating in the financial sector for more than 40 years. It’s what we base our outcomes-focused approach on. We work with you to co-create solutions based on a framework that covers IT and business strategy, benefits management, process improvement and optimization, as well as the vital people-centric change.
The point is to create the best outcome for your customers: 59% of your customers say that it’s the experience they receive from an insurer that keeps them loyal. That’s usually a great place to start our co-creation process. How can we design a better customer engagement journey using your people and digital tools? The way we buy insurance was the first thing to change radically – and that trend won’t stop. The rise of e-insurers will see to that.
Co-creation enables you to focus on the needs of your customers and your stakeholders throughout the process. It’s how you can be truly customer-led. The digital tools and systems we apply to achieving that should be organized and deployed in a way that’s unique to you. That’s the best way to ensure you are the insurer of tomorrow that you really want to be.
You can find more information in Fujitsu`s Insurance eGuide “Co-creating tomorrow`s insurer”.
 Financial Times, Feb 24th, 2017
 Gartner: Competitive Landscape – IT Services providers to the Global Insurance Industry: August 2017