Why your insurance digital transformation will fail

It’s no doubt that digital transformation is crucial – and in fact is what’s missing – for many insurers. But unfortunately, most insurance digital transformations are doomed to fail. We talk about why in the next episode of Coretalk, our “late night insurance talk show,” going live on our YouTube channel on Thursday, May 26. 

In the episode, Lisa Wardlaw, global head of insurance for Geosite and former EVP, global chief digital Strategy & transformation @ Munich Re and I discuss where most digital transformations go wrong. We talk about the elements of success in digital transformation, and how collaboration and cooperation fuels it.

Digital transformation requires the right building blocks

As Lisa pointed out, digital transformations tend to fail because most executives don’t understand what it takes to compartmentalize and achieve digital initiatives. Like Legos, you need to have the right blocks to build your digital transformation, she said.

“Execs tend to go all-in on robust transformations and forget they need to take smaller steps,” she said. “Transformations fail because we relegate them to the users. As a business leader, you have to immerse yourself in finding the right pieces and parts to form the ultimate Lego form.” Embracing greenfield initiatives, which let insurers innovate by starting small, testing, learning and adjusting until they’re ready to scale, can help in this regard. 

Vendors are to blame for digital transformation failures, too. Vendors often don’t understand their customers and what they’re trying to achieve by transforming their businesses. Vendors should be more consultative than they allow themselves to be. After all, they have gone through these programs several times while the insurer may be going through it for the first time. But many have an “order-taker” mentality, simply doing as they are asked instead of challenging the ideas because they are in sales and implementation modes and don’t want to risk the deal.

Digital transformation is about people

As Ema Roloff convinced me (rather forcefully) in our previous Coretalk episode, digital transformation is all about people. The best ideas come from people being able to challenge each other. The customer has the insurance experience, and the vendors have the technology experience, and they need to get together in a room and hash it out, but they’re often afraid to. Plus, the archaic procurement process doesn’t allow for it. The sales process, too, is broken. These programs should be true partnerships where everyone comes together with their expertise and brings about something great.

Furthermore, Lisa pointed out that digital transformation fails because people aren’t held accountable for digital and tech immersion, finding out what enables them, and then building what they’re trying to build.

“It’s not about the tech, it’s about the people,” she said. “We’re all chasing the same transformation, but it’ll be the ingenuity and thinking about it in other ways we haven’t thought of that will get us there.”

Watch the episode for more on where innovation sits within the insurance ecosystem, why it should be everyone’s job – and how to make sure your digital transformation doesn’t fail. 

Check out Coretalk Episode 6 on May 26, and subscribe to our Coretalk YouTube channel to get new episodes. And for more information, read our ebooks: Greenfield Field Guide for Insurers and How to Become a High-Velocity Insurer and Win in the New Digital Economy.

Book a call to find out how EIS can help with your digital transformation.

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