Part 1: Insurance Product and Service Delivery -- Overview
The Opportunity: Leverage technology to drive business transformation, streamline processes, reduce costs and improve services
The Reality: Existing business processes are manually intensive and time-consuming; current technologies are restrictive and inhibit real-time processing
In the past ten years, the World Wide Web has driven significant changes in the marketing and delivery of products and services in many industries. Consumers can "window shop" and transact business on the Web without external human interventions in the convenience and privacy of their own homes. This has created a new service level expectation currently being realized within the insurance industry.
Leading insurance companies are preparing to deliver changes to the marketplace that allow agents and consumers to directly, and in a real-time environment, transact the business of insurance. The resulting change is one of the most exciting business transformations in the history of the insurance industry. The Web significantly changes the way we offer, process, support and deliver insurance products and services. But, it is not the Web alone that makes this possibility a reality. It is the Web along with integrated technologies and a complex infrastructure that allows for a complete model. The transformation will have the following impact on the insurance marketplace:
- Major improvements in the service delivery process to agents and consumers
- Significant cost reduction in insurance companies, agencies and in the products offered
- Shifting of business/market share to companies offering the new capabilities
- Streamlined and improved operational efficiencies
- Increased influence of technology in the insurance marketplace
The majority of companies are confronted with business processes that are not conducive to real-time, "hands-off" processing nor do they have adequate technology infrastructures and application portfolios to meet the new challenge. Change is needed and must be addressed with a sense of urgency as lead companies are already positioning themselves for the new era. Creating the appropriate vision and the aligned business and technology strategy is imperative to being a competitor in the new environment. With the new model, Insurance companies will leverage technology in such a way as to leap-frog competitors and meet the new, high expectations of their consumers and agents.
Part 2 of this series will explore the benefits, challenges and detailed logical view of the new model as it relates to the business of insurance.
About the Authors:
Glenn Coulter, CPCU, AIM, has worked in the insurance industry for 24 years, and has focused on helping companies maximize their use of technology, both domestically and internationally. His expertise is in the design and management of multiple infrastructures and in the design and development of enterprise application software ([email protected]).
Dan Laffey, CPCU, ARe, has 25 years of experience advising companies on building business applications to gain competitive advantages. He specializes in the development and management of business application portfolios, business process reengineering, company acquisitions, application migrations and business integrations ([email protected]).