Mending Fences - Closing the Gap Between IT and LOB

Businesses in the insurance industry are constantly under pressure to deliver new ways to improve performance, lower costs, and drive profits. This year will be no different. But as we enter 2022, insurers, brokers and agents should take a moment to assess and address any potential disconnects between their IT leaders and line of business (LOB) managers before they embark on their automation initiatives.  

Gartner’s eagerly awaited Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022 once again showcased the top 12 technology opportunities expected to act as what they describe as “force multipliers of digital business and innovation over the next three to five years.”  

What was particularly interesting this year, is that almost every trend relied in some way on data, data automation, or analytics. Whether data fabric, decision intelligence, hyper automation, or generative AI, it is clear that insurance companies looking to tap into these force multipliers - or simply hoping to bolster their automation generally - will have to begin their efforts through data automation.  

When an IT / Business Disconnect Stands in the Way of Progress  

Substandard data will always stand in the way of automation efforts. However, one of the biggest challenges in achieving successful data automation is often a human failing.  

To deliver many of the outcomes in the automation process, IT teams will be required to move workloads to cloud environments, deploy new tools and services, and generally play an increased role in operations. This will be made particularly difficult for many insurance companies due to the often-institutionalized gulf between IT departments and other LOBs.  

The friction between departments almost always originates from poor communication. LOB managers often feel IT doesn’t support their needs, with corporate requirements ranked low on their agenda, and they resent being forced to use systems which may be unfamiliar or perceived as hard to administer.  

IT teams, meanwhile, often feel that business requests are poorly defined, badly communicated, and therefore difficult to understand and almost impossible to deliver.  

Unless very carefully managed, productive collaboration between business and IT teams becomes all but impossible. In addition, the disconnect can result in shadow IT projects.  

While it can be tamed and used for good, the dangers of shadow IT are widely acknowledged, not least of which is the security risk. The more lasting effect, however, is the further breakdown in trust between  IT and LOBs teams when tech specialists are called in to fix or manage the IT systems they didn’t know existed.  

A growing turf war between the LOB teams charged with finding new data-driven revenue streams and the IT team who need to access and manage the company’s data resources is less than optimal.  

Fix the Human Interface First  

When finding ways to alleviate the challenges posed by human frailty, it makes sense to build a solution which moves beyond IPaaS and has good people practice at its heart.  

​​Synatic prides itself on adding a human element to data automation and integration. The Synatic solution focuses on building relationships between all units within the business, creating clear channels of communication. The Synatic teams are trained to listen to customers (both in the IT department and the rest of the business) and develop solutions in line with their needs.  

Once the project requirements are clear, Synatic works hand-in-hand with the IT department and LOB executives to properly plan timelines to reach specified milestones, with incomparable Time To Value.  

The results of this Software with a Service (SwaS) approach has been shown to empower LOB teams, ensuring they are able to manage workflows and get the most out of their systems. This will in turn improve output and overall business performance.  

Synatic’s Nimble, Simple and Powerful approach to data integration and automation helps internal IT teams better understand LOB processes resulting in significant improvements, including better customer experience.  

When it comes to closing the gap between IT and LOB teams, Synatic’s Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) enables insurers to get the right data, to the right person, at the right time. This allows insurance companies to obtain a clearer understanding of overall objectives between teams, reduces the chance of project delays, and increases the speed of innovation.  

Finally, with a successful data automation project complete, insurers are able to forge ahead with the job of finding new data-based revenue streams - although with the added benefit of a better understanding between IT and LOB, and a far better chance of success in their next joint initiative. If you’re searching for a way to align IT and LOB processes to take advantage of digital force multipliers contact Synatic today.

Max P. Smith
June 28, 2022
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