Life and annuity (L&A) insurance is a complex industry in which customer interactions are highly sensitive, so digital transformation must take a careful and appropriate approach. But there is no need to reinvent the wheel. L&A insurers already achieve many good outcomes that need preserving, but they must take the opportunity to improve efficiency and effectiveness by digitizing and automating existing operations.
There are significant challenges to transforming L&A insurance operations in this way, though. Because of prior acquisitions and multiple product lines, L&A insurers typically have complex organizational designs and run on a variety of underlying core admin platforms using legacy technology stacks. There are often different operating procedures for the same process across products and little existing process automation because of business silos.
In addition, investment dollars have neglected L&A insurers' middle and back offices for years as they've instead poured into improving front-office operations and customer interface experiences. Much back-office work is manual and based on old-school ticketing systems. Employees need training and cross-training as they move around the highly divided business. Most importantly, though, this is a challenge that imposing a single core platform on all product and service lines can address. Portfolios are so varied that no one platform could function well enough, and the cost of integrating systems and data and customizing the business' platform would be too high. So what can organizations do to tackle these challenges?