The last 12 months have seen unprecedented change driven across the insurance industry by customer expectations, analytics and BI tools, AI and digital.

What should insurers do to prepare to stay ahead of the game and manage this unpredictable future? One part of the puzzle is to really focus on achieving business agility – thereby allowing organisations to respond quickly and effectively to new opportunities when they arise. However, the transformation journey to achieving real agility can be a challenging one.

Here are some best practice suggestions to help insurers prepare, and prepare well.

Strategic intent – having a clear, compelling and evolving vision of where your business needs to go and how it will equip itself with the necessary business capabilities to be successful in the future.

Change Management – leading insurers are focusing on their change management capabilities though creating a completely customer orientated culture and small but very collaborative teams (multi-disciplinary, customer obsessed, shared goals and targets – no blue and red boxing ring corners, rather agile purple teams).

Nurturing the right talentwith “what if” people from within and outside insurance that offer fresh new perspectives and with no inherent assumptions derived from current thinking.

IT Strategy – Creating and executing on a clear IT Strategy, that delivers the required business capabilities. Migrating from a restrictive old legacy tech stack to a modern integrated, cloud based and fully API enabled stack – and not falling into the temptation of just putting “digital lipstick on a legacy pig”.

Harnessing the power of the cloud and digital for business agility. Learn more.

Designing in agility – through test and learn cycles, Proof of Concepts (POCs), quick prototyping and only then scaling and choosing tech that enables low (or even no code solutions), reducing dependency limited IT resources to make changes – at speed.

Partneringthis could be with a wide variety of third parties, through plug and play APIs to access AI, Machine Learning, predictive analytics capabilities and new external data sources (focusing on the data you need, not the data you have).

Right sourcing – partnering strategy, to allow insurers to focus on their core areas (product enhancements, new distribution channels, data mining, innovation – driving your organisation forward) and leaving their non-core activities to the right strategic partners, often through full managed services arrangements. “… as a service” is increasingly becoming the norm.

Cloud by default One strategy that is standing out more and more is the move to the cloud, be it private, public or hybrid. Increasingly, leading insurers are fast adopting the strategy that all IT systems should be moved into the cloud, or cloud native, unless there is a compelling case otherwise. They see the clear benefits of reduced CapEx, increased speed, flexibility, resilience, scalability and “pay as you go” cost flexibility and cost transparency. With the increasing focus on data protection and security, choosing the right cloud partner is also key..

When the future arrives or when we are pushed to the future by a pandemic, having the right level of business agility, the right operating model and the right strategic partners will be the big differentiators – allowing you to gain fast mover advantage and turning these challenges into great opportunities to grow your business and flourish.