For many of us, the flexibility and greater work-life balance that came with working from home during the pandemic was a revelation. But as Covid restrictions eased and management demanded their staff return to the office, the pushback was so significant that it sparked what became known as the Great Resignation. Multiple industries have felt the effects of the Great Resignation, particularly the insurance industry where agents and brokers came to the realization that they could handle claims and other insurance processes while working remotely. Now, in an effort to hold onto their most valuable assets - their people - smart companies are finding ways to accommodate more remote work. But as insurance companies rush to build effective and productive virtual teams, they must ensure that their systems are optimized to handle the new requirements.
A Decentralized World is Not Without its Challenges
The impact of the Great Resignation is taking its toll. According to a Gartner study released in February 2022, over half of Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) reported the shortage of critical talent as the number one trend impacting organizations. However, the same report shows that only 19% say their organization is prepared to bridge the gap.
In an effort to hold onto workers who have become accustomed to the perks of working from home, many insurance companies have either adopted a hybrid work strategy, or in some instances, have completely abandoned their physical office space, opting for a fully remote option.
However, while the idea of a venue agnostic workforce is attractive for many, spare a thought for the IT departments who are expected to enable effective work while keeping hundreds, sometimes thousands of employees and remote devices safe and connected.
Insurers face multiple challenges when managing a decentralized workforce and siloed information. Some of these challenges include:
- Teams are unable to collaborate across projects and departments because of disparate data. These data siloes add a level of operational complexities that frustrate workers and negatively impact outcomes.
- Agents constantly have to manually access and move the information they need from one application into another. This creates inconsistencies and slows down their productivity.
- Making good decisions to solve business problems becomes nearly impossible to do when insurance teams don't have access to the same information. Siloed data significantly raises the risk to the organization.
- Securing information across the organization is made more complex when there are multiple nodes, contributing to increased organizational risk.
Throwing New Tools at the Problem Can Make It Worse
To overcome the new working conditions, most insurance companies IT leaders invested in new and best-of-breed tools to help their teams better perform. Unfortunately, many were caught off guard by the unintended consequences of having multiple systems. The silos created by disparate systems that were not properly connected rendered the new tools all but useless to frustrated agents and brokers who weren’t able to access functionality and data across the organization.
What’s more, new tools often don’t integrate or work well with others in the system, making real-time data sharing difficult. This is exacerbated when dealing with tools created by smaller vendors who may not have spent much time factoring in the complex continuity and data management requirements in enterprise environments.
In this disjointed world, organizational flow is disrupted, resulting in delayed decisions and reduced business agility. It also becomes harder to identify small problems, which as any tech leader will tell you, can quickly become big problems.
In a decentralized work environment, ensuring information is accurate and immediately available, becomes critical. Without proper integration, Insurance companies are setting up their virtual teams for failure.
A Hybrid Platform Solution That Empowers Individuals to Perform
When it comes to managing a decentralized workforce, CIOs need to find the most effective way to create a safe and connected environment that empowers insurance agents and brokers to deliver and allows teams to operate as though they were in the same room.
Synatic’s Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) offers a single system that can identify, collect, and contextualize disparate data across an enterprise, enabling IT teams to deliver data to their remote users that is meaningful, ready to use, and specific to each user’s needs.
Synatic’s Nimble, Simple, and Powerful HIP gives different areas of the insurance industry, from underwriting and compliance to claims and agents, a comprehensive view of the data they need, no matter the source or how many different formats - spreadsheets, databases, log files, videos, images, and text.
A real benefit of the HIP is how it can ensure that data across enterprise and partner ecosystems is made available on demand. This means users don’t have to rely on one another to get the answers they need, or wait on reports. The improved intersystem co-operation delivers actionable insights and allows the Right Data, to be accessed by the Right Person, at the Right Time.
Finally, HIPs help manage security, allowing IT teams to quickly disconnect compromised components from their IT ecosystems - a real boon for security professionals struggling with the rapid growth of global cyber threats while still trying to deal with the complexities of managing a remote workforce.
The new normal with more possibilities for asynchronous work should enable a win-win situation for workers and organizations alike. The pandemic has shown that insurance companies need the ability to work with their data as they see fit, in multiple ways. Companies that have focused on liberating their data through system integration and data automation have thrived throughout the pandemic. If you’re interested in empowering your business to adapt to the new and complex modern data requirements contact us today.