3 Dimensions to Achieving Business Resilience Post-Covid
| date: February 3rd, 2021
Technology plays critical role in business resilience in 3 key areas: safeguarding the bottom line; building agile operations and workforce empowerment.
It’s been 9 months since the start of the government imposed restriction due to the Covid-19 crisis. And by now most insurers have a good idea what constraints they are operating within. From disruption to distribution networks, to having to deal with customer, financial and regulatory uncertainty, to facing the challenges of adapting their workplace and workforce to a new business environment.
During this period most insurance companies have put in place measures to stabilize their operations and build capabilities to enable them navigate this new business environment. However, the general consensus is that the world is becoming more unpredictable thus the focus must now shift toward embedding resilience into operations to safeguard against inevitable future shocks.
A report by UNESCO released in October warns that future pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, do more damage and thus the need for insurers to build future capacity to absorb the impact of such disruptions, recover quickly and thrive.
Technology and innovation have a critical role to play in building resilience against future shocks. This is especially evident in three key dimensions of resilience including; safeguarding and increasing the bottom line; building agile operations; and empowering the workforce.
1. Safeguarding and Increasing the Bottom Line
Digitally enabled ecosystems coupled with an integrated and data-driven approach have a direct relation to financial resilience as they allow insurers to respond competitively to changing market dynamics. By building cohesive customer journeys, offering self-service and automating processes, best-run insurers are not only able to successfully confront threats but also derive greater business value by increasing overall net earnings and reducing costs. At the end of the day, a strong balance sheet puts these insurers in a better position to weather crises while maintaining their competitive advantage.
2. Building Agile Operations
Agility and resilience go hand in hand. Some say they are two sides of the same coin. That is because all businesses require the ability to adapt and transform and recover quickly from shocks in order to thrive. Technologies like the cloud and big data help insurers achieve speed-to-market, speed-to-value and speed-to-revenue, improved quality and boost the productivity of their teams. Digital insurers – who are able to operate and offer value digitally – build environments in which agile flourishes and capitalize on it’s potential to not only outperform their competitors but also build the resilience that allows them continuously evolve.
3. Empowering the workforce
Adoption of data and digital platforms within business operations helps empower the workforce to work and collaborate effectively from anywhere, anytime. Innovative insurers are able to ensure service continuity – key to business resilience – by increasing the modularity and availability of core IT infrastructure and applications. This enables the provision of seamless customer experiences and provides a single source of truth that brings together data and technological silos for faster informed decision-making.
Technology when done right goes to the core of the organization to establish a strong foundation from which springs forth resilience. Speaking on Resilient Insurance: The New Rules of Digital Insurance at a recent webinar organized by Turnkey Africa and Oracle, Oracle’s Digital Transformation Specialist Mounir Boukadidi urged insurers to rethink the way they do business from the inside out if they are to deliver on their corporate and business strategies in these times of difficulty.
Its has also become quite apparent that insurers who prior to the crisis were already further down the road with their core transformation strategies have in the last nine months proven to be quite resilient to its effects spending less time in response and recovery and instead re-imagining their business to out-perform their peers in the new reality.