Mission-Critical Everywhere: Digital Transformation in the Insurance Industry

Overcoming UC&C and UCaaS performance challenges to ensure mission-critical customer communications

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Digital transformation is rewiring the world. Ready or not, this is profoundly changing how the risk-averse insurance industry operates and what customers expect. According to a recent IBM Institute of Business Value study, 85 percent of insurers are developing new customer experience technology initiatives to improve customer journeys. But investments in service innovations require that the mission-critical applications supporting these initiatives perform consistently well to enable rewarding business outcomes.

Adapting to New Digital Possibilities in the Insurance Landscape

Insurance companies are increasingly relying on technology to drive growth and innovation. But this wasn’t always the case. Insurtech’s emergence around 2010 raised the digital transformation bar. Backed by billions in investment capital, insurtech startups emphasized virtualized unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) tools, cloud computing, predictive machine learning, and other methods to deliver hyper-personalized services to customers. Meanwhile, insurance companies kept their slow and steady approach to digital technology adoption. Until the pandemic.

The COVID lockdown taught companies that consumers will adapt to more digitally enabled interactions, whether by force or choice. In a recent KPMG survey, 96 percent of insurance CEOs said the pandemic accelerated their digital transformation efforts. Insurance company CIOs and their teams now find themselves in a sprint with insurtechs and each other to accelerate information technology (IT) infrastructure provisioning and digital transformation initiatives to support line-of-business teams, enable remote contact centers and distributed employees, and appeal to customers online and offline.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open, Customer-Centric, and Unified

We live in an age of digital engagement. Omnichannel services are the name of the game. Phone calls, text, and chats can all lead to interactions with customers for quotes and coverage, sales, filing claims, navigating the adjustment process, and so on. So, if communication is that important, the technology that underpins it must be as well.

Unified communication (UC) technology is the most critical piece of insurance companies’ digital transformation strategies and has drastically changed how insurers operate their remote workforce and how that workforce interconnects with customers.

The flexibility of pay-as-you-go cloud-based UC models such as unified communications as a service (UCaaS) enables agents and contact center staff to efficiently send out information, updates, and other items to many potential customers via various platforms tailored to customers’ preferences. When dealing with a customer-initiated contact, for example, insurance agents can seamlessly transition from one application to another across all channels—such as chat, text, telephony, web conferencing, and even social media—all from one screen.

Companies that understand and can quickly adapt to their customer’s specific preferences and needs have the best chance to stand out in a notoriously crowded insurance market. A recent Invoca survey found that phone calls are often the most preferred communication channel when policyholders need urgent support, particularly in casualty, liability, and dire situations such as catastrophes.

As the number of applications, platforms, and services an insurance company uses to communicate with customers grows, so does the importance of its enterprise IT environment. Decisions in this area will impact just about every facet of an insurance company’s digital transformation initiatives. Insurance CIOs are investing heavily to upgrade their networking and storage infrastructures that support UC&C investments with modernization initiatives—such as migrating on-premises workloads to colocation data centers and virtually hosting data and apps in public clouds.
Digital transformation can drive multiple business opportunities for insurers. However, as their enterprise IT environments become more distributed and complex, digital transformation increases the number and location of IT visibility gaps. Similarly, UC&C applications help insurers deliver high-quality customer experiences, expand market reach, and retain customers. But lost calls, latency, jitter, and other degradations in UC&C services can mean big trouble for insurance companies if they are not detected early enough.

Every digital transformation initiative becomes mission-critical the second it touches a customer.

To Be Mission-Critical Everywhere, Insurers Need Network Visibility Everywhere

Every day, enterprise networks might contain thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of networked devices operating simultaneously in hybrid environments. The distributed nature of enterprise networks, as well as remote employees and contact centers, underwriters, digitally sophisticated customers, and so on, means insurance companies must also monitor network and application performance across their entire network environment wherever users need access to critical applications. Without comprehensive network and application visibility, every remote edge, app, tool, campus, office, and internet access point can become a blind spot. 

Thriving with digital transformation initiatives such as UC&C means IT professionals need holistic network visibility and robust performance monitoring capabilities to quickly triage degradations and keep services available and running well. Components of network and application performance management solutions that provide business value to insurance companies include:

  • Early warning: Proactive alerts and real-time monitoring for end-through-end visibility and analysis
  • Enterprisewide insights: Analysis of traffic flows to identify the root cause of problems and historical data for trend analysis that may signify degradations in network or application performance
  • Scalable, comprehensive visibility: Deep, packet-level metadata to safeguard mission-critical business services across wired and wireless environments as you grow and expand your digital transformation initiatives
  • Global views: A single pane of glass to view data, voice, and video service delivery performance and manage the availability and quality of the network, applications, and user experience

NETSCOUT Customer Case Study: Insurance Group Eliminates Blind Spots in Network Visibility To Ensure Digital Transformation Success

Around the world, innovative companies are turning to network and application performance management solutions that can extend visibility to the farthest network edge and deep into its core. NETSCOUT’s long history of providing insurance companies with network and application monitoring via scalable deep packet inspection and Smart Data analytics allows us to ensure the availability and high performance of digital transformation initiatives, mission-critical applications, and network environments.

Learn how NETSCOUT helped a well-known insurance company maintain the performance and uptime of its mission-critical applications while IT leaders executed large-scale digital transformation initiatives.