By: Ruth Fisk, VP of Insurance Strategy at Smart Communications

It’s no secret that cloud functionality is, and will remain, a factor that can produce big benefits for insurers, now and in the future. Recently, Smart Communications joined many leading companies in the insurance industry at Guidewire Connections in Las Vegas . We heard about the importance of cloud adoption in insurance, the current state of the industry and what is still required of insurers in order to remain agile, improve business outcomes and deliver on customers’ ever-changing expectations. 

Of the many themes discussed over this four-day event, it was interesting to hear about what’s keeping insurance leaders on their toes. Things like cyber risk, new distribution models, data and analytics potential, as well as the ability to quickly adjust to inflation and changing market conditions were all referenced as key priorities. Additionally, cloud adoption became a focal point when discussing how insurance companies can attract top talent. 

In this blog, we cover how digital transformation — with a focus on cloud technology — will remain integral to the success of insurers going forward especially as leaders aim to address:  

  • Employee turnover and skills shortages 
  • The need for agility and scalability 
  • Deciding on the right cloud solutions to help insurers secure a future-ready organization 

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Attract Top Talent with Cloud Adoption in Insurance 

Although the current skills shortage is a hot topic across all industries, the insurance industry is especially in need of top talent. Not only will cloud adoption help insurance organizations remain agile, but it will also give them the ability to recruit better talent. Today’s talent wants to be part of something bigger than themselves – to be seen as an innovator and a game-changer. 

This means that as insurers aim to attract and hire top talent, manual processes and legacy systems should be retired. This will give digitally savvy employees the processes and solutions that keep them excited about working for a forward-thinking organization. Leveraging the power of the cloud can also make insurance professionals’ jobs easier by improving employee engagement and internal NPS scores. When employees are happy, they tend to perform better, and this has been proven to extend to the customer experience. 

Finally, cloud technology allows employees to be more proactive in their day-to-day tasks. Legacy, on-premise systems can offer band aid approaches to daily issues, but they’re not helping staff work toward larger challenges and/or wider company goals. With cloud, employees can be more strategic, allowing them to get ahead of customer needs and provide a better experience all around. 

Enable Cross-Functional Agility with Pure Cloud Solutions 

Cloud solutions help modernize IT operations, another key initiative insurers must adopt in the face of changing market demands. Part of that modernization includes enabling teams across the business to work cross-functionally with less friction and more ease. Balancing the need to maintain stable, resilient systems and the need to innovate requires an agile platform across the complete insurance lifecycle, making cloud technology the right approach  

Insurance is an industry that continues to change, and it will take strong vendor partnerships in order to transform the industry standard. This means leading by example and helping to shift mindsets across industry leadership. Undoubtedly, this will require stricter alignment between the IT function and the business, enabling them to respond to market demands much quicker and in a more agile fashion. 

With solutions like the Smart Communications Conversation Cloud™, insurers can connect all data, applications and history, giving them actionable data in real time. Of course, this is made possible by leveraging cloud solutions with strong APIs. With the ability to act on this data, insurers can scale as needed to deliver personalized, omnichannel conversations that help their policyholders feel seen and heard as individuals. This also helps insurance companies prepare for the future and increases their internal efficiencies—all feats made possible by pure cloud solutions and impossible by sticking with on-premise solutions or legacy systems. 

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Leverage the Right Cloud-Based Solutions for Insurance Companies 

Legacy systems or platforms don’t have the necessary interoperability to power core operations that modern, forward-thinking insurance organizations use. These systems lack the sophisticated APIs that allow companies to integrate key elements of their technology stack. Without the necessary customer data at critical touchpoints, it’s impossible to provide a personalized, omnichannel experience—all important factors in offering value to customers. 

Ultimately, it’s about making insurance fit the business rather than asking insurers to adjust to a software solution.  Building modern technology gives insurers the confidence to keep their attention on customer needs rather than managing systems and software. This following quote from Mobilitas, during their session at Guidewire Connections, exemplifies how Smart Communications’ pure-cloud solutions can do this:

this is a graphic with text: "At Mobilitas, we believe in what's possible. We use our innovative skills to create new products and opportunities. We're not chasing the status quo, we're chasing a shared vision. We're excited to push the boundaries of commercial insurance and reimagine insurance."

In providing more value to policyholders, insurance companies can enhance brand loyalty and trust while increasing customer retention and satisfaction – top priorities for insurance leaders around the world. Cloud-based solutions help insurance companies reach a significant improvement in customer satisfaction (CSAT) and renewal retention by allowing organizations to deliver more value at a faster rate than if they were using on-premise solutions. 

Existing – and succeeding – in a highly regulated industry means insurance companies need to stay abreast of the compliance requirements and regulations that are always changing and oftentimes region-specific. This is impossible to do with legacy systems and processes that are both error-prone and costly to update. For instance, something as simple as an update to the Terms and Conditions of a policyholder’s contract could go unnoticed and become an expensive oversight that damages not only the organization’s reputation but also leads to fines and fees. With cloud solutions, content can be easily updated across all instances, using the power of AI instead of leaving it up to human error or doing nothing at all. 

Conclusion 

Digital-first strategies are no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ for insurers, they are a necessity across an insurer’s operations. This allows insurance organizations to remain competitive and agile, helping them to take a more decisive approach to becoming a customer-centric enterprise. To effectively reduce costs and risk while also increasing customer satisfaction, retention and top talent across the business, insurers must continue to invest in cloud adoption.  

Interested in hearing about how Smart Communications’ cloud solution can help insurance enterprises modernize business processes? Listen to what our customers at Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company had to say at the Guidewire Innovation Awards 2022: