The vast majority of brokers (73%) have already adopted a digital strategy – with a marked 16% increase in those doing so in the past year according to Insurance Times’ Digital Adoption report.
The finding is perhaps not surprising as the insurance broking market looks to respond to changing customer and insurer partner expectations, shifting work patterns, and the ever present need to be seeking efficiencies.
But what does “going digital” as a broker actually mean?
It is not, as many may think, just about business processes; in fact, that is only a fraction of the point and value of digitalisation. In practical terms, a digital strategy is about adopting and investing in technology across three fundamental areas. First of all, it should entail embracing (digital) automation to drive operational efficiencies, secondly, to establish (digital) connectivity externally to customers to deliver an enhanced experience for policyholders, and finally, to develop (digital) connectivity with insurance partners to deliver more efficient interactions.
The theory is simple, and the benefits speak for themselves - more efficient operations, more informed business decisions, better insurer and partner relationships, more specific customer service, and accelerated growth and profitability across all lines of business. Which is why it is surprising that only 8% of brokers in the Insurance Times research cited customer relationships as a high opportunity from digital transformation.
Embracing constant change
Investing in digital is also not just about buying a system, implementing it, and carrying on as normal – it is about creating a new present and a new future for the business. As with any traditional five-year plan, a digital strategy should be constantly referred to and updated - and constantly evolving, particularly as digital technology capabilities and consumer needs are changing, exponentially, on an almost daily basis. Artificial Intelligence, analytics and third-party data are also increasingly on the radar. Over half (53%) of brokers are currently investing in AI to improve client-facing processes or plan to in the next 2-3 years. When it comes to data analytics this figure jumps to 92% of brokers.
All of this change and evolution is why a Broker Management System needs to not only be flexible, but able to be constantly updated. It should also be API (Application Programming Interface) friendly – that is, able to plug in to other software programmes. This can ensure, for example, that new third-party risk data services can be easily absorbed into and accessed by a brokerage. Again, it is no surprise that 84% of brokers currently either invest in APIs or plan to in the next 2-3 years.
Digital capability is rapidly becoming not only standard practice across the insurance market, but something that is increasingly expected – by employers, customers, and partners alike. Those that fully embrace it will benefit across all areas of their business. Digital adoption is not, as mentioned earlier, just about processes. It is about services, efficiencies, opportunities and of course people. As the war for talent continues apace only a digitally enabled broker, having removed mundane tasks from its people, will be able to attract and retain the skilled staff it needs.
Unlock your Epic potential and discover how Applied can help you progress your digital strategy https://www1.appliedsystems.com/en-uk/discover-the-epic-difference
Senior Director of Customer Experience, Applied Systems Europe
Stephen Murphy is responsible for the overall client experience and satisfaction of Applied Europe’s strategic customers. A customer champion, Stephen leads a team of Customer Success managers and works in collaboration with Sales, Services, Support, Development and Product Management, placing customer experience at the centre of all operations. He joined Applied in March 2020 and works across both broker and insurer channels ensuring our customers gain the most value possible from their investment in Applied technology. In his previous role at Accenture, Stephen worked in Management Consulting where he specialised in insurance consulting, managing teams across Europe and Asia Pacific to deliver large scale transformational projects for larger insurers in the UK and Ireland.
Subscribe to the Applied Systems UK Blog
Fill out the form to receive the latest blog posts delivered directly to your inbox.