MDM discusses ‘shifting from product centric to customer centric’ at TCI Insurance Summit 2016

Feb 1st, 2016

Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management

Tough economic conditions, increased regulatory oversight and increased competition are three key challenges facing the insurance industry. This has given rise to an increased focus in how insurance companies can modernise how they view and interact with customers by improving their ability to understand the customer’s needs and risk profile. The benefits are significant and include providing more flexibility in how customers can interact with the insurance business, delivering a more consistent customer experience across multiple channels and importantly, reducing risk.

Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management, will discuss these issues and more at the TCI Insurance Summit 2016, to be held at the Indaba Hotel, Fourways, on the 1st and 2nd of March.

He says, “One of the challenges hindering enhanced customer engagement and assessment is aging and complex legacy IT architectures that were designed to support a siloed business model. They may no longer provide the flexibility to compete effectively, deliver an exceptional customer experience and provide an accurate view of their customer risk profile. Customer data — the information we use to assess risk, to invoice our customers, process their claims and that underpins our communication for marketing and operational purposes — is critical for insurance companies.”

An example of this fragmented data is in some instances, insurance companies may have a blend of individual and corporate clients, housed in different segments and with different risk profiles. Relationships such as husband and wife, parent and child, or owner and business, may be critical to provide an accurate client picture and ensure appropriate products, service levels and risk management.

Allemann adds, “Becoming customer centric is, of course, not just an IT problem.  Existing business processes and channels must be redesigned to focus on the customer. This may require a significant mind shift, particularly in larger business where product siloes are entrenched and have been largely autonomous for decades.”

IT systems and data siloes must be integrated to support these new ways of doing business.  Companies are embarking on journeys to modernise their legacy IT infrastructure and to introduce new capabilities to support the modern insurance business. Transforming to a customer centric company requires business and IT to work more closely together.

This is supported by research house Gartner, where they highlight that business executives such as the Chief Marketing Officer are becoming more influential in driving technology decisions, and may even have bigger technology spend than IT.

Allemann concludes, “The upshot is that business must take the lead as the role of data in achieving business goals is becoming more apparent.  Data is the new oil and customer information must be treated as such in order for insurance businesses to remain competitive, garner customer loyalty through an enhanced customer experience and reduce risk.