Insurers Ride the Wave of Mobile Technology
Rod Travers | August 25, 2015
Insurers are encountering a new level of sophistication with mobile users and technologies. Much like the rapid maturity of web technologies years ago, mobile technology is rapidly evolving today. Perhaps you are tacking a Mobile 2.0 strategy, or maybe you are just getting started with mobile. Either way, here are a few things to consider as you define your strategy and implement capabilities:
Why is this important?
Consumers are becoming more accustomed to, and more dependent on, mobile technologies. Satisfying today’s customers is arguably less critical than attracting and retaining tomorrow’s best customers (and agents), who will be mobile cognoscente.
They are likely to be better risks, more productive and, in turn, more profitable. Beyond customers and agents, with things like mobile-enabled cars, weather preparedness, home monitoring systems, data aggregation, and dozens of other mobile tie-ins, you need to be in the game now.
When designing mobile capabilities, think first about the audience. Policyholders need a set of functionality geared toward consumer interactions. Agents need different functionality, with a higher degree of sophistication around inquiry and transaction support. Employees likely need an even richer set of functionality along with a robust security model.
Take the time to define what will be most valuable and impactful for each type of mobile user. Ask them what they are looking for, which may require first educating them on the possibilities. Use an agile approach to demonstrating mock-up capabilities to help you confirm priorities. Is what you are offering going to make things easier and more convenient for each user type?
Business stakeholders (e.g., claims leaders, service operations leaders, head of agency, etc.) should be accountable for decisions about features relevant to their functional areas. While you may already have gone through such an exercise, consider how much has changed in just the past 12 months with mobile technologies. Is it time for a refresher?
Think Big, Start Small
As you begin introducing mobile capabilities, I suggest taking an agile approach. Deploy basic functionality first. Then add capabilities as resources allow and user demands warrant. Include a simple comment mechanism—along the lines of a “like/don’t like” vote for existing functions (or desired features). Don’t waste time and resources on features that users don’t want.
Security and Privacy
Security considerations will have a major impact on design and platform specifications. How much information should be made available, and to whom? Other industries, particularly banking, have solved many of the fundamental security issues, at least for now. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but all the business stakeholders (not just IT) must understand the security landscape and the risks.
Don’t let security considerations stand in the way of your mobile deployment. Instead, limit your risk by limiting the amount of information that is in the mobile realm and by adopting security measures that have already been proven effective elsewhere (e.g., banking, payments, airlines, etc.). And put plans in place in the event of a data or security breach; no security model is infallible.
You can’t dictate to consumers what devices they should use. They will float from phone to tablet to laptop and back. They’ll use Apple and Android. They’ll use Wi-Fi and cellular data and so on. Design your strategy around the desired user experience, then figure out how (or if) to deploy all aspects of that design in the mobile realm.
Mobile functionality is becoming increasingly important for capturing customer brand loyalty. It’s not about the technology, it’s about the customer experience. Whether you’re in the mobile game already or just getting started, put the customer first as you develop or renew your strategy. And be prepared for rapid change as the mobile realm is moving quickly. Your policyholders and employees will let you know if you’re getting it right.
Rod Travers is executive vice president at The Nolan Company, a management consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Electronic Chat with Larissa Tosch
- Martha Notaras Will Join ITA LIVE 2019 as a Keynote Speaker
- Five Things to Consider When Evaluating Your Cyber Risk
- ITA Pro Magazine, January/February 2019
- Major Ransomware Attack Could Hit U.S. with $89B In Economic Damages
- ITA Announces 1st of Three Keynote Speakers at ITA LIVE 2019
- Electronic Chat with Jeroen Morrenhof
- Legacy Systems Are Dead. Really? Don't Count On It.
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 ITA Bridge Awards
- It's time to register for ITA LIVE!
- Registration is Now Open for ITA LIVE 2019!
- What to Expect from a Digital Experience Platform Implementation
- ITA Pro Magazine September Edition is Now Available
- It's National IT Professionals Day
- Save the Date for ITA-LIVE 2019
- OneShield Software and UrbanStat Work Together to Improve Real-Time Analytics and Risk Decision-Making
- ITA LIVE 2019 - SAVE THE DATE!
- Insurance Technology Association Announces New Editor-in-Chief
- August 2018 Edition ITA Pro Magazine is Now Available
- Enterprise Architecture in an Agile World
- Top 10 Tips for Securing Your Mobile Devices and Sensitive Client Data
- Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
- Diving Deeper into Prioritizing Your Strategic Digital investments
- Why Content Rules
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Adoption of Cloud Platforms Likely to Accelerate at Large and Midsize Carriers Alike, Says Novarica
- Guidewire Software Announces Hexaware as New Consulting Alliance Partner
- Steve Kronsnoble Joins CastleBay Companies as Insurance Principal Consultant
- Electronic Chat with Larissa Tosch
- Instec Expands Insurance Expertise with Hiring of Industry Veteran CJ Lotter
- Group Insurers Investing in Tech to Drive Customer Acquisition and Retention, Says Novarica
- RLI Selects DataCubes to Optimize Certain Underwriting Processes
- Reinsurance Software WebXL Version 4.3 Released by Prima Solutions-Effisoft Group
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA LIVE 2019
The tide is up! It's time to register for ITA LIVE 2019, our annual educational and networking conference! Our theme is "The InsurTech Revolution: Cutting Through the Hype." and we'll be bringing in a torrent of industry thought leaders, amazing insight and wonderful perspectives on the world of insurtech and its impact on the insurance landscape.
ITA LIVE 2019 will present real-life examples of true startup technologies that are helping insurers gain real advantage -- and a competitive edge -- in the marketplace. We’ll highlight the more successful InsurTech partnerships, while offering case studies that demonstrate exciting innovation and cutting-edge techniques impacting all aspects of the insurance ecosystem.
Ride the wave to LIVE 2019. Sign up today! We look forward to seeing you in May, 2019!
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
This month, the ITA celebrates Insurance Careers Month and encourages carriers, brokers, agents and our industry associations to plan their own... READ MORE
Customization in the general sense has a very positive connotation. However, in the world of software systems, customization quite often falls short... READ MORE
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE