Posted: 08 Jun. 2021 5 min. read

Insurers can unlock human potential while investing in digital

Why now is the right time for the insurance industry to simultaneously invest in technology and people

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What does the future look like for Deloitte’s insurance partners? What should be their priorities in the coming weeks, months, and years? Where should they consider making investments? One answer to all these questions is simple—digital. COVID has shown that the future of both the employee experience and the customer experience is increasingly more digital and that an increase in investment may be needed to keep up with those demands. For employees, COVID has created a shift in their ways of working, a need to embrace a digital and virtual environment causing companies to consider how they can tailor their investments to support overall employee productivity. Insurers are often hyper-focused on digital investments related to the customer experience, but fail to consider the implications of the employee experience resulting from the same digital investment. While we know that digital maturity has been positively associated with financial performance, we also know that any type of digital transformation can be met with resistance by a workforce because transformation means change, which is emotional in any capacity. Regardless of the intention, we know that a fully developed digital strategy and road map is the best course of action for insurers to consider bringing their organizations into the future while considering their workforce as the critical driver of transformation.

Activating Digital Transformation

To solve for the human element of any digital transformation, insurers must consider how they can best harness the symbiotic relationship of the workforce and the technology they use. Employees will be the single most important factor in ensuring full-scale adoption of any type of digital transformation. Done correctly—the workforce will help ensure a return from any investment that can be sustained and scaled into the future. In order to prioritize where to focus efforts when activating and scaling any digital transformation, insurers should consider which ways of working may need to be redefined in order to transform. This may include redefining how your ecosystem, organization, leaders, teams, and/or individuals work. By focusing on one of these groups, they can be used as levers to accelerate digitization to cut down organizational silos, facilitate cross-functional collaboration, promote the type of leadership that empowers and enables the workforce, and incentivize the individual. If you don’t take advantage of these levers of change, you risk unintended consequences for both your internal and external stakeholders of any digital transformation, including limited adoption of your desired capabilities or an adverse reaction to change from your workforce or customers.

In Summary—Create a Road map for Successful Digital Transformation

To bring all the pieces together, an insurer should develop an end-to-end digital road map to drive alignment on digital strategy, use the agile ways of working that many companies have become used to in the past year as a springboard, and drive toward future state digital goals. Getting started involves understanding how digital the organization is, how digital the organization aspires to become, and how to achieve that future state. Deloitte’s proprietary Digital DNA tool, which uses 23 traits to determine how digitally mature an organization is, should be the first step toward understanding the starting point of an organization’s digital road map and transformation journey. In assessing the current state and defining the optimal digital future state, you’ve created Point A and Point B, which will require a broad digital transformation strategy and road map to traverse. A guiding principle for the journey should be knowing that the power of a digital transformation strategy lies in its scope and objective, integrating the business needs with a focus on both the technology and the employee.