This is my first post on the Accenture Insurance blog, and I’m looking forward to using this platform to bring a European perspective to the challenges that multinational insurers face as they transform their operating models for the digital world.

In my first series of blog posts, I’ll take a look at how digital transformation can serve as a catalyst for business and operating model harmonization in international insurance businesses. Insurers with operations in multiple countries are all too aware that they need to provide consistent customer experience wherever they operate.

They also know that they need to embrace digitalization to remain competitive in a connected world where new players are disrupting old business models in nearly every industry. I believe that the two challenges of harmonizing operating models across international markets and digital transformation can be linked together. Moreover, they present an opportunity for leading insurers to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.

There are four significant success factors that insurers must take note of if they are to seize this opportunity:

  • Customer-centricity: A successful global insurer will need to design its customer interfaces around the needs and preferences of the customer, rather than around the business logic embedded in its own processes and systems.
  • Leveraging the agent network: Despite the rise of direct digital channels, tied agents and independent sales partners still have an invaluable role to play in growing an international insurer’s business.
  • Tapping into a partner ecosystem: Leading international insurers are not just digitizing their internal business processes, but also putting themselves in an insurance value chain that links with other business partners.
  • Mastering front-end IT: Insurers must put into place IT systems that allow them to decouple front-end interfaces from the process logic of their back-end systems.

I will take a closer look at each of these success factors in my subsequent posts.

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