In our previous blog, What do insurance customers really want? we looked at how we could meet the expectations of the insurance sector through the delivery of IAM services. For many insurers who had already planned digital transformation projects, the pandemic has brought those programs forward.
In fact, a recent report reveals that 85% of CEOs said Covid-19 had accelerated the digitisation of their operations. Customer demand is also driving growth in more web and mobile channels, so as insurers look to gain market share, we’re seeing more focus on the digital side of insurance brands.
Supporting digital channels
Covid-19 brought about a rapid shift in working behaviours, moving from a predominantly office-based model to a flexible model that is now supporting millions of remote workers. The ability to meet customers where they want to be met has now extended to workers and support functions. From a customer experience perspective their interactions with the insurer, whether through an app on their smartphone or a contact-centre function, dictates that it is largely digital-persona driven.
This requires a robust Identity Access Management (IAM) function that has full integration into those consumer touchpoints, for example, customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This is key when looking at the claims-handling process where the level of interaction will increase.
Where insurers should make the IAM investment
If we acknowledge the consumer’s preferred digital channels, then there are two things we have to get right: the Customer Experience and Security. Part of the solution to address this is the aforementioned link to the CRM system, in order to drive meaningful interactions. There should also be a focus at the application-level taking the insurance functionalities where they need to go. The future is about data integration which is not possible at scale with context without a strong IAM foundation to support it.
Digital readiness in the insurance sector
A sensible starting point would be to rationalise the legacy systems that still provide value but need to be fit for purpose in the whole digital lifecycle. So, the hybrid approach discussed in the previous blog sees the legacy applications sitting alongside cloud applications to best serve insurance customers.
Insurers who have grown by acquisition also have a challenge in rationalising the inherited apps and systems. Here, insurers are advised to avoid the siloed business model and the vast number of independent active directory (AD) domains associated with them, and to instead build a more mature IAM infrastructure to best leverage the information as well as to help with future migrations.
The ability to onboard customers more rapidly could also be seen by some insurers with a more robust IAM foundation as a competitive advantage. The speed with which an insurer can process acquisition, onboarding and policy approvals through the IAM orchestration engine to the sales and marketing functions, is much more likely to result in customers who value convenience taking out a policy.
In Part Two of our podcast, Nick Jukhoop explores these themes with Chris Barngrover, Senior Cyber Security Strategist, at Micro Focus, an Identity Methods partner.
By Nick Jukhoop