Feedback: Satisfaction rate is good to early Covid-19 response

Introduction

“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” - Charles Darwin  

The ongoing pandemic has significantly impacted the insurers across all lines of business and their underlying financials - from P&C to life. The biggest challenge this pandemic has brought is disruption to business and operational continuity. Many insurers had business preparedness and contingency planning in place but that didn’t work for a crisis of this scale.

The insurers had to integrate business and IT skill sets to understand the disruption and its implications and systems addressing them had to be put in place virtually within 24 hours. Flexibility, leadership, reprioritization, communications,  adaptability, redesigning operations, meeting new government requirements, easing organisations own rules and putting together an experienced crisis management team from most parts of the business was the call of the hour. 

The insurers had to swiftly reprioritise operations, modify their processes and redesign workflows to continue their business going. To ease operational pressures, non critical areas of the businesses had to be temporarily stalled. In this publication, Insurance Directions would like to highlight what employees thought about their employers’ early coid response. 

The companies that had started their Digital Transformation and had developed numerous digital channels and ecosystems have managed better so far. So the key lesson is one of adapting to new technology and being able to both scale up in certain places and scale down in others. Covid19 has pushed organisations to operate very differently. 

A key challenge for leadership and HR teams was to optimise staff availability. Immediately there was an increase in staff absence as self-isolation took place, many were shielding themselves, some staff were seriously ill, other staff were showing symptoms or were unwell, other staff had to look after their children or elder parents, etc.The key issues were around understanding which staff were available with what experience and how to reallocate them from back-end to the front-end as well as in changing process operations. Which staff to discontinue, which to furlough, which premises to shut, which to keep open with a skeleton staff and meeting new health and safety requirements, etc. Given the lock-downs and government advice most staff had to be enabled to work remotely from home. All this also created a sense of growing uncertainty and anxiety. 

As government requirements around isolation came in place, remote working especially working from home became the current normal. This created challenges in communication. The need to scale large numbers of remote users meant drastic increases in provisions of VPNs, remote gateways, mobile devices, licences, security solutions, video-conferencing solutions, etc. It also meant evaluating each staff’s remote condition and the provision of internet with fast bandwidth and frequently supplying gateways/routers, laptops, tablets, provisioning IT Support, insuring staff to work from home, etc. This in turn created more supply chain problems, problems around funding and billing authorisations, access to much needed applications (which if not provisioned then need to be quickly moved to the clouds) and authorising other applications not normally allowed by businesses like messaging, chat and video comms. Companies got to understand the value of good cloud infrastructure and the ability to scale immediately. Company cultures also had to change overnight to adopt ‘informality’ as people worked away from offices, including in leisurely dressing and interruptions from other family members and pets!

So the need of the hour was to focus on business viability, to focus on how to bring continuity to the business operations, to modify business processes and redesigning of workflow. One of the biggest requirements was to focus on optimising workforce - human and digital to stay agile.

ViewPoint

The Insurers and the Industry have adapted extremely quickly to the change required. For a conservative and cautious industry this pace of adaptation seems like a miracle. So it is good to see most employees seem satisfied with the way companies provisioned remote working and employee interaction (Figure 1 & 2). Insurance Directions believe now this will have to be enhanced into the new normal. For companies that were on their digital journey or piloting projects, the technology paid for itself and brought the dividend of responding faster to clients and managing operations effectively. 

Figure 1: Effectivity of Covid early response by the insurance vendors

Source: TekPlus Insurance Executives Survey

The companies that had started their Digital Transformation and had developed numerous digital channels and ecosystems fared much better than the laggards still relying on legacy infrastructure. Insurers who had already invested in cloud are managing well in this crisis. Insurers utilised cloud and VOIP services to scale up key technologies needed for remote workers and remote applications. The use of public cloud platforms and hybrid clouds helped in making them available fast. The elasticity of cloud ensured continuity of operations at scale. They could also serve their customers better which was an added advantage over competitors. Adding Automation , Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are another crucial component in handling the demand for answers from clients.  

Figure 2: Lessons learned from Covid-19 early response

Source: TekPlus Insurance Executives Survey 

The biggest lesson learned in these trying times  is that Digital Transformation is a key differentiator and key for surviving the challenges. Companies on their journey with new technologies and digital channels are staying profitable and investing more to prepare for any type of future ‘normalisation’.

 


TP: 01 PN: 1553 VN: 01 YS: 21

Content Type: Corporate Advisory ; Programme Type: Corporate Advisory Programme 

Applicable Verticals: Technology/ICT, Services, Healthcare, Insurance

Applicable Regions: Global

Applicable Subjects: Digital Platforms, Digital Eco-System, Digital Customer Experience


Insurance Directions is a brand of TekPlus.

Every care is taken to ensure that all contents of this report are accurate and opinions stated are based on information and sources we believe are reliable, but are not guaranteed. We do not endorse any services, solutions, vendors or eco-systems mentioned in our publications including our verdicts, viewpoints, advisories, profiles or featured vendors, etc. No liability can be accepted by TekPlus Limited, its brands, affiliates, directors, employees, or writers for any loss incurred as a result of using or failing to use anything contained in the report, conclusions stated or inferred.

This publication derives from our Advisory Practice, Product No: TP01PN1553          

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