We recently brought together our digital experts to discuss a variety of hot topics in the industry. On the panel was Sapiens’ Colleen Wells, VP, Global Digital Strategy, Amir Raskin, Analytics and Business Intelligence Product Strategist, Bjorn Freter, Co-CEO, sum.cumo, a Sapiens company and Yariv Yanay, VP Digital Product & Innovation. We started with trends and how to leverage them. Below is the first part about leveraging the trends out there in the digital insurance space.

Q: What is your definition of digital today?

Colleen: To me, it’s quite simple. Digital is really about customer expectations and providing a better customer experience using technology. Customer experience and technology equals digital. Simple.

Bjorn: In the beginning, digitalization basically meant process automation. That’s where everything started from. And then data came, customer experience, and today, I would even go as far as calling digitalization in the insurance industry a way to get into serious e-commerce.

Q: What current trends are we seeing in the marketplace?

Bjorn: Most insurers have taken first steps or even had their first successes in the digital space. Many launched new websites, new online platforms, and maybe tried to sell new products that they haven’t been able to sell before. Or they’ve used new sales channels and maybe even gotten as far ahead as providing online self-services, etc.  These solutions that we’re used to are individual solutions that don’t really tie in with each other. They’re basically a collection of tools and platforms that might, in some cases, costs more and cause more work, than bringing you benefits. Now as technology and platforms become more complete, there are new solutions where you can tie all of these different things in with one another. You can make use of your ecosystem. You can tie things into your core solutions even. We’re seeing better acceptance for these types of solutions from the markets these days.

Amir: I see the new possibilities that IOT and sensors can bring to the insurance company, providing huge advantages, good profit and good results. Then it’s a win-win situation, even for the customer because we can personalize the customer experience and give them the ability to pay according to need and behavior, especially on the P&C side. This is all about the analytics and the data. And when you have transparency, you have loyalty and engagement with customers and brokers, and it gives a new perspective to and a new vision for the insurance industry.

Learn more about Harnessing the Power of Digital for Business Agility

Q: How can insurers leverage these trends?

Colleen: They must think digital first! They must be flexible and try to be agile. In insurance, I think we tend to overanalyze, and we want to go big bang first. I think what we need to do is take a step back and try to understand all the trends and then bring them full circle. From bringing in innovation for customer engagement, end to end processes and using some of these tech trends to find a process that can be implemented on a smaller, MVP level, like AI. Or like chatbots, which I think is a big area which going to be influential, profoundly affecting the market space in terms of how we engage with customers. And if they just really started small and thinking of terms of some of these trends, insurers can start to make some of those improvements quickly.

Bjorn: I’ve had the pleasure of helping insurers enter the digital arena. Newly founded insurers don’t carry baggage from the past and can serve as an example of what can be achieved in a short amount of time. And I would strongly agree that speed is one of the major factors differentiating big transformation projects, such as core replacement projects, that in in the past took years to complete. With the new types of working methodologies, general technique, architecture, and models, we can really get projects out there in a matter of weeks or months. We have product configurators available where you can change the underwriting on basically a minute by minute basis, if you have your company set up that way. There are a lot of things out there that can be leveraged fast. It’s a winner’s market – whoever moves first, whoever moves quickly enough, we’ll get a large piece of the pie even though we’re still not where we could be. So, jump on that ship now and you’ll have a competitive edge.

Part 2 of our Q&A will discuss ecosystems and advice for insurers starting out on a digital journey. Stay tuned!

Watch the full panel here: