Working for consulting and system integration company Fincons Group for over 15 years, Giuliano Altamura (pictured), financial services business unit manager at Fincons, has seen the requirements for innovative technology solutions develop rapidly. In the course of a recent discussion with Insurance Business, Altamura outlined how digital transformation has changed the way the insurance sector operates and highlighted how brokers can and should be embracing this transformation.
The heightened role of customised technology-led solutions can be seen through the growth of Fincons itself, which now operates out of several international offices throughout the US and Europe, Altamura stated, and which has developed long-term and successful relationships with the main international software vendors.
When it comes to the insurance sector, Altamura said, digital transformation has enabled insurance companies to evolve in four central areas. The first of these, he said, is the creation of digital channels which have enabled new touchpoints of clients, web responsive solutions, chatbots and virtual assistants as well as apps and email communications.
Secondly, new front-end applications which have been developed for brokers and sales networks have managed to boost brokers’ efficiency when it comes to selling activities, he said, as these applications have enabled mobility and a more engaging user experience. Optimised efficiency, he stated, has also evolved due to business process management solutions, combined with robotic process automation and AI.
Finally, Altamura said, IT modernisation has enabled the adoption of more modern and flexible solutions including the use of the cloud, containerisation and automation. The requirements for technology solutions such as those offered by Fincons has become essential, he said, due to the restraints which exist within many traditional insurer systems.
“The digital evolution journey of insurers and brokers is often limited by the constraints posed by legacy systems such as the complexity of integrating many systems, of achieving 24x7 availability and performance issues,” he said.
This necessity for the solutions which can dramatically help overcome legacy issues through processes such as simplifying integration and optimising the speed of access to data, has increased in recent years due to the accelerated demand for more personalisation in insurance products, Altamura said.
“Today’s consumers are accustomed to high levels of personalisation and expect it from their insurance products too,” he said. “Insurers can now compose highly personalised offers tailored specifically to the single customer by analysing their needs both through surveys conducted by the brokers and through the analysis of open and social data.”
Altamura referenced the recent study from Future Customer which found that the majority of respondents reported that personalised offers and products were the features they valued the most from their insurer. Brokers and insurers have to digitalise to keep pace with the competition, he said, and he outlined that, as insurers move towards selling insurance services that are tailored on individual customer needs, brokers must be given applications capable of making a 360° analysis of the customer.
To create a complete customer view, he said, these applications must be set up in a way which encapsulates both company data, broker CRM data, and any other external source of further information such as Open data sources, social networks and even IoT sources.
Brokers looking to embrace digital transformation within their own organisations should partner with a consultant who understands the market and their individual pressures, Altamura said. He believes that finding the right partner to help each broker design a digital transformation route that matches their requirements and leverages their existing assets is key.
“The right support can help design a hub that protects back-end operations and improves the performance of new front-ends to ensure that a 360° customer view is achieved,” he said. “It is thus possible to provide customers with a personalised and engaging consultation without reinventing the wheel and remaining free to integrate new technology as it comes available seamlessly.”