The Four Pillars Of Digital Insurance

Birgit Fien-Schmalzbauer

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, digital disruption is transforming the insurance industry, and traditional insurers need to reimagine their business to survive. But saying it is one thing; doing it is an altogether tougher proposition. That’s why we’ve built a structured framework that helps insurers assess how they can move from their current position to become a digital organization. And it’s based on four key pillars.

Digital core

At the heart of the framework is the digital core. It connects the workforce, the Internet of Things (IoT), partner networks, brokers, and customers. In a digital insurer, the core processes are simplified and standardized and extend across all channels of interaction with suppliers, partners, and clients. And the processes integrate predictive analytics to provide unprecedented insights into customer behavior and preferences and business performance.

As a result, insurers can introduce new products at market speed, personalize client marketing, and quickly integrate with third parties while reducing costs.

Customer experience

In a digital business, the customer experience is personalized and proactive. The underlying platform brings together marketing, sales, insurance services, and commerce, allowing the entire customer experience to be digitized.

Each customer’s journey is unique, and at the same time, seamless, consistent, channel-optimized, and relevant. By responding to each customer’s individual needs, an insurer can establish trust and increase customer loyalty.

Workforce engagement

The simplification and standardization of processes frees employees to work on higher-value customer-facing activities. To help them be successful, the digital insurer provides consumer-style apps that give them the knowledge, information, and transaction help they need to serve customers and the insurer efficiently and cost-effectively.

At the same time, digital insurance success will depend on being adept at modeling, recruiting, onboarding, compensating, and managing an optimized workforce.

The Internet of Things

With billions of devices expected to be connected to the Internet of Things over the next few years, insurers will have an unprecedented opportunity to use the information these devices provide to drive new products and services.

The digital insurer will go beyond Big Data by being able to analyze data instantly from internal and external sources and using it to not only anticipate customers’ immediate and future needs, but also proactively provide advice. For example, wearable fitness devices could anticipate health problems and advise customers to visit their doctor. Sensors in cars could advise on driving habits, and weather information could trigger the provision of information to protect against storms.

For more information about the structured framework we’ve developed, please visit this link, where you can download our complimentary report, How Insurers Can Prepare for the Digital Revolution.


Birgit Fien-Schmalzbauer

About Birgit Fien-Schmalzbauer

Birgit Fien-Schmalzbauer leads the Research and Innovation Office within the insurance industry business unit at SAP. Her responsibilities include defining the innovation strategy and co-innovation with partners and customers for complementing the solution portfolio, especially in the area of IoT, blockchain, and ecosystem; selection and development of startups; definition and support of go-to-market strategy; as well as supporting marketing and analyst events.