21 jan 2021
Crucial challenges CIOs in insurance can expect because of COVID19
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As the world moves forward from the pandemic, Andrew Jenkins, Principal in the CIO & Technology Officers Practice, discusses five challenges CIOs will encounter.
The pandemic has seen a surge in digital transformation, where organisations have had to integrate disparate systems and data structures at a faster rate and with new complications. This has put greater demand on CIOs, especially those in the insurance sector where technology adoption and implementation can face more hurdles than other financial services sectors. These are the challenges they will be faced with:
1. Agility – executing transformation remotely
Agile transformation is not a new concept but since the pandemic it has taken on a new meaning. Previously, the process of reacting rapidly to change could rely on quick communication and physical interaction, but this was stunted when countries were faced with lockdown and still are. CIOs are continually faced with hurdles when trying to introduce Agile programmes with a remote workforce. But the implementation of technology is vital to create a collaborative environment so that employees do not feel disconnected.
2. Mindset – a cultural shift is needed to improve the customer experience
Through digital transformation, the customer experience is constantly evolving. However, many insurers have simply seen digital transformation as a way to drive cost efficiency. To transform the approach to customer engagement down the organisation, the CIO must now change the cultural mindset of the leadership team and show them that digital innovation is essential to improve the customer end-to-end journey which is more profitable than reducing back-end costs.
3. Adaptability – using public and private cloud platforms to enhance your business
Much like changing the mindset of executives around digital innovation, CIOs need to showcase the power of cloud technology to the leadership team. Using cloud platforms improves how an organisation’s data is stored and managed, which for many insurers means modernising their legacy infrastructure. However, cloud technology gives more visibility and clarity, improving the speed to market for new products, enhancing the claims experience for customers and ultimately helping firms expand globally.
4. Flexibility – creating a hybrid workforce for employees
The future of work does not see people in an office full time, but a hybrid of on-site and remote working. This is a lifestyle employees will now expect, so CIOs must deliver a technology infrastructure that brings the collaborative effort of working in an office to people’s homes. They will need technology that will keep teams connected, ensure visibility so that remote and on-site employees are performance managed equally and not lose the ‘water cooler’ moments remotely.
5. Leadership traits have changed
2020 saw a shift in leadership traits, where adaptability, agility and resilience became key. Those that have been able to tackle the crisis have made brave decisions at speed and have the vision to see where they need to adapt the organisation’s culture to be successful but also reignite a sense of purpose. This has put CIOs under a lot of pressure, and they’ve found themselves in the pole position to deliver this is technology, and transition their organisation into a new era through digital innovation.
This shift has been especially difficult for CIOs in insurance as they are trying to redefine a traditional company culture that does not see the power of cloud technology, big data analytics or understand the value of digital transformation for the customer experience. To come out on top, the CIO must educate their executive team to embrace and believe in innovation as the world has changed.