SA: Implementation of E-Business Strategy, No Longer an Option

As technology continues to rapidly evolve and entrench itself into nearly every aspect of our daily lives, the need for organisations to implement comprehensive e-business strategies is no longer optional.

“The question is no longer merely which components of the vast mobile technology landscape to incorporate into individual insurance e-business strategies. Rather the insurance industry needs to understand and embrace how to maximise the benefits of each unique technological environment to add value to the service offering and deliver competitive advantage and differentiation,” says Rhys Collins, head of African operations for SSP.

Statistics show that the amount of new technology is doubling every two years as consumers continue to adopt new devices which have voice, data and video functionality at an ever-increasing rate. With these devices being able to support any type of consumer or business content that can be communicated via the Internet, technologically the local insurance industry is lagging.

Consumers will expect engagement via web based apps

“The scope of opportunity that exists for insurers via mobile technology is limitless. Insurance specific applications such as claims tracking, renewal notifications, loss assessments and risk assessments will not only do much to enhance the overall service offering, but will eventually become essential to success within the industry,” adds Collins.

“User-friendly extranets and brand visibility on different platforms is not enough anymore. Consumers want to and will soon expect to engage with their insurance companies via web based applications.”

According to Collins the power of social media has yet to be fully realised by the local insurance industry. “When you look at the statistics and how many people engage in social media it makes sense as to how effective it can be in terms of increasing visibility or conducting web-based market, product or service related research. The insurance industry needs to start listening to its consumers and social media platforms are the best if not the only way to do this,” he says.

Investing in e-business strategies will determine growth

Business users or consumers that are included as part of the product development process whether it be through providing feedback or intelligence, are far more likely to take up the product and recommend it to others as is evidenced through the success of numerous big brand campaigns that have made use of social media application Facebook.

“Investing in and implementing innovative e-business strategies will be the key determinant of future growth within the industry. Those insurers that are still debating the cost and merit of mobile technology rather than starting to experiment, do so at their own peril,” concludes Collins.

Source: All Africa.Com – 25 Jan 2012