‘Living business’ insurers ensure that customer data moves quickly, seamlessly and accurately.

Business reinvention is required if you are to succeed in today’s context. This view is universally held by our ‘high performers’—the group of 30 financial services companies, including 13 insurers, that achieved high ‘vitality’ scores in Accenture’s Living Business Survey. This contrasts sharply with the 68 percent of lower-performing insurers that agreed, and is another example of the differences between leading insurers and those at risk of losing ground.

As I mentioned in an earlier post in this series, there are five capabilities for insurers that want to become ‘living businesses’, able to accommodate customers’ ever-evolving needs and circumstances and to seize opportunities for revenue growth. The final two capabilities are scaling with partners and rewiring the culture.

Scaling with partners

To master this set of capabilities, geared toward achieving market potential, an insurer needs to establish collaborative relationships with forward-thinking partners and a broad set of ecosystem alliances beyond traditional industry boundaries. That’s because living businesses share and select data purposefully and efficiently—internally and across a broad ecosystem of partnerships—to achieve a powerful multiplier effect.

To scale successfully, insurers should:

  • Collaborate with partners beyond traditional boundaries.
  • Connect employees and/or partners with data via cloud platforms.
  • Ensure that customer data moves quickly, seamlessly and accurately.

Across financial services, 88 percent of high performers reported that scaling with partners is highly important to their business, compared with 73 percent of insurers not in the high performers group. And 30 percent of high performers reported that they have engaged with a new type of alliance partner in the past year, compared with 14 percent of other insurers.

Discovery is one carrier that’s taking advantage of scaling with partners; it is working with leading insurance groups in China, Europe and the United States via its Vitality1 platform. Barry Swartzberg, CEO of Vitality Group and responsible for Discovery’s expansion of shared-value insurance in global markets, said: “We are currently helping to improve the health of more than 9 million people in 19 countries. Recently introducing IGI Vitality in Pakistan and announcing two further partnerships—a.s.r. in the Netherlands and Prudential in Argentina—show the relevance and scalability of our model. Through strong partnerships, such as this one with Accenture, we are also making strides toward achieving our goal of being the fastest-growing global insurance technology company, underpinned by the most sophisticated behavioral platform linked to financial services.”

Using the capabilities of the Vitality1 platform and the global Vitality network, Discovery and its partners—AIA, Manulife, John Hancock, Sumitomo Life, and Ping An—also made a pledge in 2018 to collectively make 100 million people 20 percent more active by 2025.

Rewiring the culture

Leading insurers also understand the importance of culture, both within the workforce and when interacting with customers. In our research, 87 percent of high performers found rewiring their culture to be highly important to business success, while 72 of other insurers held that view.

Rewiring capabilities include:

  • Fostering a culture that continually seeks to improve customer relevance.
  • Re-orienting organization structures around customer focus.
  • Augmenting the workforce with flexible tools to enhance relationships.

Changing the corporate culture is never easy, but it stands to reason that becoming a different kind of organization is impossible without it. An internal focus on putting the customer first is essential for a living business, as is a shift from reaction to pro-action when it comes to maximizing relevance. These will probably require a cultural rewiring and continuous reskilling of the workforce. They will also be aided by the development a workforce that combines the power of human ingenuity and artificial intelligence, allowing employees to achieve more of their full potential.

Insurers looking to unlock sustainable growth must strengthen all of their living business capabilities, from targeting new opportunities, to building engagement and scaling with partners. Those that take a ‘wait and see’ approach will find it difficult to keep up with the front-runners.

If you’d like to discuss how your company can pursue one or more of the five living business capabilities, reach out to me directly.

To learn more, read the report to discover why living businesses are scaling with partners and rewiring the culture.

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