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Enabling Digital Transformation: It’s Never “Done”

Enabling Digital Transformation: It’s Never “Done”

Tom Lee

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to change or create new business processes, customer experiences, and culture to meet changing business and market requirements. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s a business strategy that, once established, should continue to change and be refined to stay ahead of ever-changing business trends, climates, and competition.

Moreover, P&C insurers attending Connections Reimagined in November 2020 identified “enabling digital transformation” as their #1 strategic imperative for 2021.

Digital transformation starts and ends with how we think about and interact with customers — this interaction must add value with every engagement or transaction. A key element of digital transformation is understanding the potential of your technology. The most prevalent digital technologies enable efficiency gains and greater customer intimacy.

Technology is cool, but the most important investment is to have a business strategy with specific and measurable goals. This strategy should drive all digital transformation initiatives.

Implementing specific tools like artificial intelligence is not digital transformation. Enabling an omnichannel experience for policyholders is not digital transformation. No single technology will deliver efficiency and customer intimacy that organizations want. The best combination of tools for a given organization will vary depending on the business strategy.

However, if people are not behind the change, and if the current business practices are flawed, digital transformation will only magnify those flaws. To develop the business strategy, insurers should look within their organization for insights — from the associates who manage their customers every day and who have intimate knowledge and experience about what works and what doesn’t in their operations.

We’ve seen success when insurers also create a startup culture and mentality to help alleviate fears of change. Change is hard. Digital transformation introduces new technologies that could be perceived as a threat to job stability.

Leadership teams that incorporate culture as part of their business strategy will make it special for their staff to be part of the initiative and later nurture more of the same in other parts of the organization. Successful leaders demonstrate how digital transformation is an opportunity for staff to learn and upgrade their expertise and be part of the digital revolution that they interact with every day.

Netflix and Amazon are excellent examples of organizations that have experienced incredible growth by embracing digital technologies. And these companies never stop evolving their digital transformations.

Treat digital transformation like blogs. Not books.

To learn more, read the full report, “Top Five Imperatives of 2021: Insurer Priorities, Challenges, and Successes.” Also watch our recent Connections Reimagined session “Insurers' Top Five Imperatives for 2021,” where Guidewire's Carrie Burns spoke with three industry analysts about the key insurer priorities for 2021 and what they're seeing in the industry.

This is the final blog post in a six-part series. Read the others here:

  1. The Results Are In: P&C Insurers’ 2021 Priorities

  2. Driving Process Improvements Is Not a Fad. It's a Necessity.

  3. There Is a Right Way to Launch New Products Quickly – Guidewire Customers Have the Secret

  4. Profitable Growth: The Best Kind of Growth

  5. Delivering Service Excellence Today Is the Expectation


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