At last month’s Insurance Summit, I gave a presentation entitled Making the Shift from Product to Customer centric – with a particular focus on the Insurance industry.
This is a very topical subject right now…
The insurance industry is facing a number of challenges –
- an increasingly competitive market including the entrance of new players,
- the introduction of new technologies such as Internet of Thing that redefine the management of risk
- aging infrastructure designed in the 60’s for a each product house
- an increasingly well educated and knowledgeable client base,
- and an increasing regulatory burden – think FICA, CPA, PoPI, Solvency and more…
These challenges create opportunities – for example advanced analytics is a priority for investment both in South Africa and internationally.
Shifting the enterprise view of data from an operational :”process this product” approach to can strategic “how can we understand our customer” is seen as a competitive necessity for many insurers if they are to turn these challenges into opportunities.
Where in the banking sector compliance is driving data governance, in teh insurance industry it is a matter of survival.
Our clients are actively working with us to address the very real data governance and data quality challenges that are inhibiting their ability to make this shift.
This is not an IT problem.
As business seeks to share customer (and other) data across product silos they must ensure that information is used appropriately, they must agree standards and policies for aggregating, sharing and maintaining data, and they must meet the demands of a customer base that expects the business to service him effectively and uniquely based on the information that he has shared.
Business must clearly define the new information paradigm that they want IT to deliver. They must be actively engaged and actively support IT to ensure that their needs are clear and that their business expectations are met.Without this sound data foundation investments in new systems, advanced analytics and the like will be largely wasted.
I believe that this can be most effectively achieved through active data governance – clearly identifying, prioritising and managing data risks before they become business issues.
A failure to do this will mean a wasted opportunity, and, in some cases may mean the difference between the business succeeding or failing.