This is the concluding post in my series about digital transformation and business and operating model harmonization in the insurance industry; you can catch up on earlier entries here. This time, I examine how a versatile IT front-end can help insurers to become more agile as they embark on digital transformation.

With the current pace of technology and business change, it is more important than ever for insurers to put in place a flexible IT environment that can support a true omni-channel approach stretching across agents and a range of direct channels. In practice, this means that insurers must decouple their front-end interfaces from the process logic of their back-end systems.

In so doing, they can build true multi-device and multi-channel capabilities that allow them to keep pace with the demands of today’s connected customer, who wants access to systems anywhere and anytime he or she finds it convenient.

By abstracting the front-end interface from the back-end logic, insurers can achieve the spread of their back-end systems across different channels, product lines and even countries. As such, front-end/back-end decoupling is a powerful tactic especially for insurers with operations in multiple countries.

What’s more, this approach also supports the shift to customer-centricity I spoke about in part 2 since it enables product bundling and 360° client needs management at each touch point. Front-end integration allows for a complete view of the client through any channel.

At its most flexible and mature, front-end integration allows for aggregation of products and tariffs from different systems as well as seamless service across different channels. So how does one get this right?

We believe insurers should follow a gradual evolution path to a new digital multichannel architecture that is:

Decoupled & standardized: Insurers should create a standard catalog of business services that allows front-end interfaces to consume services published by different back-end systems.

Flexible: Their platforms must have the ability to fine-tune and tailor existing processes according to channel, company and country requirements.

Extensible: Insurers should take an incremental and iterative approach to supporting new internal and external business needs.

With insurers facing a sea-change as a result of disruptive technologies, changing customer behavior and a tighter regulatory environment, it is imperative that they adapt their operating models in response.

International insurers will have a strong opportunity to achieve better economies of scale, enhanced brand perception, and improved productivity and efficiency if they seize the opportunity of digital transformation to harmonize their international operating models.

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