CIO's guide to choosing their first no-code project in the insurance industry
If you are like most CIOs, then you don’t have a shortage of items on your to-do list for 2021. The digital transformation journey ahead of you is long and daunting, and there is so much to be done.
No-code tools offer a great opportunity to start checking projects off that list quicker than would otherwise be possible. But what is the best pilot project to tackle with a no-code tool? Would that be a self-service customer portal or maybe an internal agent and broker dashboard?
Some projects are more well suited for no-code development than others, and if you choose wisely, you will be able to quickly deliver business impact. Here are some things to consider when deciding on your first no-code project.
What is no code, and why is it gaining popularity in enterprise IT
No-code tools are rapidly gaining popularity in enterprise IT, and for a good reason.
In a world of limited resources and growing complexity, no-code development offers organizations an opportunity to diversify their internal IT stack by getting non-developers involved in building apps and tools to make their jobs easier.
In this way, no-code tools help overburdened IT departments get some much-needed respite while delivering new digital applications that accelerate digital transformation.
There are many ways no-code tools can be useful in an insurance company, but the key is selecting the right project, to begin with to deliver ROI quickly.
Step 1: Understanding where no-code shines
No-code application development is in – it has reached and impacted industries all around.
Transforming internal operations
Any operation involving a lot of manual, repetitive tasks is a great candidate for a no-code project.
One of the most common use cases that often get tackled first is the transformation of internal manual processes with no-code tools. Such projects empower business users to create their own tools to make their work more efficient.
The typical solutions are digital applications, dashboards, workflows, internal web portals, and mobile applications.
The reasons why no-code is particularly well suited for such projects:
- Fast time-to-market for mobile and web responsive apps
- Simplified development of “repeatable apps” such as forms and workflows
- Easy integration with existing systems of record and legacy apps
- Simplified change management
- Built-in monitoring capabilities and dashboards
- Improved security and compliance
Transforming digital experiences
It is not a secret that digital customer experience is quickly eclipsing other sales and service channels in the insurance industry.
Catching up with the latest UX/UI best practices while ensuring the best possible customer experience and optimizing for higher conversion rates is a challenge many insurers struggle to solve.
No-code digital experiences empower insurers to quickly deliver cutting-edge experiences, make changes quickly, and optimize KPIs without overburdening the internal IT teams.
Projects put on the back burner due to limited capacity can finally see the light of day while delivering a consistent user experience across all customer touchpoints. No-code projects that address customer experience often include mobile apps for customers and customer-facing self-service web portals.
No-code tools bring the edge here as well, as they offer:
- Agility and ability to iterate and optimize quickly
- Unified design across applications
- Security tasks are simplified and are in part offloaded to the vendor
Integrating core technologies
The final great use-case for no-code tools is integration. Integrating multiple mission-critical systems that run your business into one unified workflow can bring spectacular ROI to digital transformation initiatives.
For example, by combining your ERP, CRM claims adjustment, and customer portal into a single automated workflow, you can eliminate delays, errors and significantly cut costs through the entire customer journey.
The advantages of tackling integration tasks with no-code tools include:
- Connecting the dots in the existing business processes for accelerated growth and efficiency
- Better quality of the data that gets funneled into your organization
- Future-proofing your organization by ensuring that all systems work together and you can add new tools at any time
- Better productivity and improved internal collaboration
Step 2: Map out all your projects and find gaps
Now that you understand the practical applications of no-code tools, it is time to review all your planned projects to see where no-code could be applied.
- Do you have internal processes that heavily rely on manual workflows, emails, spreadsheets, and so forth?
- Do you lack a great customer-facing portal that will deliver exceptional digital experiences to your customers?
- Do you have many disconnected internal systems that require a lot of manual work to integrate?
Map all your projects and evaluate what no-code tools could be used to help you deliver those projects.
Step 3: Determine where no-code will deliver the best ROI
Once you have mapped all your upcoming projects, it is time to pick the best candidates for no-code development. To select the best candidates for a no-code solution, we must look at three main criteria:
Repeatability vs. Ad Hoc Projects
Not all projects are well suited to be solved with no-code tools. Some issues can only be solved with custom code. The main reason why some projects are not well suited for no-code is that they are unique, complex, and non-repeatable.
For example, designing a customized customer-facing application with unique functionality is not something that no-code tools are best at delivering. Leave those complex tasks for your IT team.
But if you have a repeatable task, such as, for example, creating a simple app for collecting customer information and signatures during your policy sales process – no-code tools can deliver on that front. And they can deliver fast.
Urgency and time-to-market
Another important criterion is – how urgent is your project? Do you have the internal capacity to deliver on it? Growing backlogs are not good for anyone, and offloading some of the workloads on a no-code platform (especially for simple and repeatable tasks) is a no-brainer.
Traditional IT development project, whether it is handled internally or with the help of an IT integrator, is anywhere between 4 and 12 months. Noone has got time for that, especially in the current environment where remote servicing is no longer optional.
Why digitizing customer-facing manual workflows is the best candidate for your first no-code project
Here is why digitizing customer-facing manual processes is probably the best project to get started with:
Paperwork = Operations + Customer Experience + Integrations
As I showed above, no-code tools shine in three types of projects: those that optimize operations, those centered around digital experiences, and those that bring together technologies you already use.
That is why digitizing manual workflows is a great project to tackle with no-code – it combines all three of the no-code strengths into a single project:
- Customer-facing manual workflows have both operational elements (internal document processing and operations) as well as customer-facing (digital self-service instead of physical paperwork).
- Those two elements need to play nicely with each other, and data needs to flow back and forth between customer-facing front-ends and various internal systems.
Digitizing those processes is the ideal use case for a no-code tool because it plays to no-code strengths:
Digitizing customer-facing processes is simple
Bureaucracy and paperwork is not rocket science. A digital form, no matter how complex it might be from the legal point of view, is relatively simple to code. Give any of your developers a day or two, and you can digitize any form that is not a problem.
The problem is though, is the volume and scale – when you have hundreds or even thousands of forms that also need to be updated and maintained, you can’t waste all available IT staff hours on that.
Customer-facing workflows are repeatable
No matter how many forms you have to digitize, the forms themselves are not unique. There are a lot of elements that repeat themselves such as tables, checkboxes, signatures, and text fields.
Digitizing customer-facing workflows is high impact
Everybody hates paperwork. But insurance companies don’t have a way around avoiding data and signature collection altogether. Core processes in insurance require customers to fill in their information and sign-on forms.
The bill for handling customer-facing workflows manually is steep – errors, and mistakes are inevitable and require a costly rework. In addition, customers’ experience is anything but great.
Customer-facing workflows are high-volume
The sheer amount of paperwork that insurers have to deal with warrants a long-term solution that can finally solve this once and for all.
Customer data collection requires integrations
The data from forms that customers fill has to be entered into the correct systems. When the data entry is handled manually – mistakes and delays abound.
Digital experiences can integrate with relevant systems automatically, ensuring that the data flows to correct systems and relevant stakeholders without any delays.
Digitize customer-facing workflows with no-code
There are many use cases within the insurance industry for digitizing manual workflows with no-code tools: from customer onboarding to policy sales and claims processing- many customer-facing core processes require customer data and signature collection.
Handling those processes manually causes delays and errors, results in skyrocketing operational and data-processing costs, and creates horrible customer experiences.
But the good news is – customer-facing workflows can be easily digitized with the right no-code tool.
And the ROI? According to our estimate, an insurance company with 5 form types and 2,000 monthly submissions each could save on average $77,800 each month by eliminating manual processes from their operations.