Insurers: Getting from here to there on your digital transformation

Most insurers are aligned around a common vision of the future, so strategy is about charting the course from here to there.

Whether the focus is new business, claims, or filling the white space in between, the journey starts with an outside-in view of the personas being targeted (e.g., customer, agent, adjuster); the capabilities and services they require; the instantiation of a digital platform; the sourcing of requisite functions, information and insight; and partner services.

A hypothetical

Consider a property and casualty (P&C) company that decides the consumer-direct model fits with its vision of the future. The steps it might take on the digital journey would include the introduction of a consumer portal and decisions regarding which capabilities and services should be provided. It would create digital-ready products with simpler underwriting rules, digital signature capabilities, and customer support provided by a chatbot or customer service representative.

Following the progressive decomposition method (see figure), the new business elements of the existing core system are exposed via RESTful APIs and integrated into a digital platform. Working with service design specialists, a compelling new user interface is generated to guide the prospect through a conversational buying experience. All this is developed using agile methods and deployed in a lean fashion, first as a minimum viable product, and subsequently improved and extended on an evergreen basis, perhaps with advanced AI-driven needs analysis or the addition of a natural language interface


Digital Insurance Progressive Decomposition

Progressive decomposition shows how a legacy, monolithic insurance system can be modernized by converting select features into independently operating microservices and connecting to the core through a loosely coupled API. (Click image to enlarge.)


With this one project, our P&C insurer has exercised most aspects of the digital transformation journey. On the surface, the result is a new channel to market and a new way for customers to engage. Look deeper and you’ll see a wealth of experience, insights and learnings that are now the foundation for the next set of initiatives. Most importantly, you’ll see the beginnings of a culture change that will unfold over the next several years.

In today’s world, digital transformation relies heavily on trusted partnerships. Insurers can no longer expect to keep up with the massive investments being made by today’s technology leaders. Neither can they amass all the skills and experience necessary to effect disruptive change at the pace business requires. Streamlining the existing technology landscape, curating a new ecosystem of partners that includes the emerging Insurtech community, and embracing the digital platform lets insurance leaders focus resources and investments on the creation and consumption of truly differentiating business capability.

Given no company can afford to wipe the slate clean and start over, the digital insurance platform helps insurers deliver the service and experiences today’s consumers expect by extending the reach of existing assets and creating net new digital capabilities. Digital technology is mature and ready to be deployed at scale. Transformation lessons from other industries are well understood. For insurers, all that remains is to decide where and how to move forward, and to get started.

I look forward to sharing our digital platform strategy with those of you who will be attending the DXC Engage Insurance Conference.

Brian Wallace is the chief technology officer for DXC Technology’s global insurance business, driving technology strategy, client-focused solution development and the ongoing alignment of DXC’s capabilities with the needs of the insurance industry. He engages with clients, prospects and partners around digital disruption and the future of the insurance industry. @bwallac5



  1. Barbra McGann says:

    I think this article nicely walks through a “here to there” journey for insurance companies that may be trying to figure out how to scale a digital transformation or even to explain it to their business partners. However the term “progressive decomposition” then just throws a wrench of complexity into it that’s distracting. Why not just call the visual “Modernizing Insurance IT” or “Breaking Down to Build IT Up”?

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