Mike Jackowski is its CEO Duck Creek. He brings more than 25 years of insurance industry experience to this global leadership role.
Digital transformation is table stakes when it comes to making progress and driving your company forward. It is important for CEOs to think about technology as a central part of an organization’s strategy. Making technology strategy front and center is best achieved by embracing, enabling and empowering the company’s CTO — and their team.
Today, organizations are more horizontal and less siled as traditional leadership roles blur. CTOs are expanding their roles to build bridges between IT and different lines of business and ensure that technology is a significant predictor of every initiative within their organization.
This broader role of the CTO should be commonplace in companies across all industries, including highly complex and highly regulated industries such as insurance, where it is absolutely critical to focus on digital transformation to achieve desired goals.
Here are some ways insurance CEOs can create an innovative and collaborative culture that integrates a CTO’s technology strategy into the broader business strategy to drive better business results.
Bringing Technology Vision to Business Strategy
We have seen the need for digital transformation grow drastically. Legacy infrastructures are evolving, omnichannel is evolving rapidly, and experiences are increasingly digitized.
As a result, there is greater emphasis and reliance on technology across the insurance value chain – across products, delivery methods and service models. Customers demand experiences that are relevant to them through the channel that best suits their needs.
Communication and collaboration across different areas of the business is key to making personalized experiences a reality for customers, and the role of a CEO is to motivate and guide diverse teams to work together as one to realize a clear set of technology priorities. This cross-sector collaboration helps bridge the gap between company strategies and market demands.
For example, customer appetite for new types of insurance services and offerings is challenging companies to bring innovative products to market faster. Technologies such as the cloud and the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model improve the operational efficiency of companies by providing the most up-to-date systems and functionality that help drive a company’s digital transformation agenda.
Expertise directly involved in business strategy helps insurers create an organization that is well equipped for the future. The inherent value of technology leadership helps create agile business models and processes, which means less iteration, fewer mistakes, and greater resilience. In addition, allocating resources to the right place at the right time is essential to creating a pleasant and seamless user experience for customers and partners.
Creating more value through innovation and partnerships
As markets change and customer expectations grow, companies must provide new solutions to cope with the evolving world around us. The Spotifys and Ubers of the world are already doing this by adding incremental value to their apps every day. The insurance industry should not be an exception.
Integrating CTO’s technology vision into the business agenda allows an organization to differentiate offerings and create more valuable services. CTOs are experts in pattern recognition and understand what it takes to make technologies and applications work within the boundaries of existing code. They are the champions of realizing a CEO’s innovation vision.
Ecosystem partnerships are also an important piece of the puzzle. An example of this is built-in insurance. Think about the times you booked a flight and were asked about travel insurance—an example of using an ecosystem partner to deliver more value to customers. Partnerships provide additional features that enhance the customer experience when purchasing a product or service, giving consumers more flexibility and coverage options when they need them.
Another example of delivering value is through digital customer service (DCS). Insurance customers are migrating to digital channels and DCS enables insurers to meet them across different platforms with technology applications such as voice-to-text, artificial intelligence (AI), automated chatbots, in-app engagement and more. I previously wrote about DCS and its benefits. Customers who want high-touch services can open a claim through their carrier’s website, get help with an AI-enabled chatbot, and engage a claims representative directly.
Achieving success through value and purpose
Ultimately, technology augments—but does not replace—the human element of any business. Since people remain vital to building any business or customer experience strategy, a supportive and values-based organizational culture is essential to success.
CEOs must set the scene and help build a culture that prioritizes value and purpose. Welcoming the different functions of the business to have a seat at the table and encouraging employees to collaborate with partners and customers helps the company develop more innovative solutions.
With these values and purpose in mind, technologists like CTOs should focus on building strong teams that adapt to constant change and disruption and can create new solutions quickly to address these issues.
The journey of digital transformation requires new levels of collaboration and engagement. IT has moved to the forefront of business to support operations to become more modern and efficient. This human-centric technology approach will deliver more consistent results and improve the user experience, building trust with both customers and partners.
The key to your competitive advantage
To maintain a competitive edge in the insurance market, businesses must embrace and encourage their vision of technology leadership. The most successful companies will be those that promote cross-functional teamwork and allow the voices of diverse groups to be fully heard.