On a scale from 1 to 100, how painful has your digital transformation been so far?

Digital transformation pain meter

TLDR: Learn from the mistakes of other CIOs, and use a no-code platform for building digital customer journeys at enterprise scale.

A latecomer to the digital party, the insurance industry is quickly catching up. But digital transformation in this traditionally conservative industry continues to be a painful process for many IT leaders, to put it mildly.

One reason is that, more often than not, digitization is done entirely with code, as IT leaders opt for custom code instead of reliance on low-code and no-code tools. 

For certain projects such as digitizing customer-facing forms, however, this is a mistake.

Despite the tendency of enterprise IT teams to assume that no-code might not be flexible enough to meet their needs, No-Code tools are actually more flexible than code. For they allow developers to amplify their existing resources and to achieve much more than what they can  with code alone.

Enterprises in many different industries are increasingly using low-code to achieve:

  • Faster time to market – days and weeks vs. months and years
  • Delivery of application updates in a matter of minutes
  • Completion of a minimally viable product (MVP) as fast as possible

At the same time, no-code and low-code solutions are maturing and evolving to answer enterprise-grade requirements for compliance, security, and integration.  They also bring with them an advanced functionality that is extremely costly or complex to implement with code.

Let’s take an example of digital journeys. 

No-Code tools help to create user-friendly digital journeys that come equipped with co-browsing, permissions, integrations, validations, change management, and security. Add to that advanced data analytics, AB testing, and optimization capabilities. 

And now imagine how long it would take your team to build such a process with code alone.

Sadly, more often than not, only after coding 2-3 processes do enterprises realize the pain of coded solutions and the value of no-code platforms.

Pain is driving IT teams towards low-code and no-code tools

Don’t get us wrong – code is not going anywhere. When you need to build a custom, innovative, and unique product – code is the way to go. 

But, when it comes to customer data collection that is required for core processes such as customer acquisition and onboarding, the process must be built many times with minor adjustments – making it a perfect candidate for no-code development. 

After hand-coding the first few processes, insurers realize that code simply cannot keep up with business requirements. It is not cost-effective and, most of all, it’s painful. 

Digital Journeys are so much more than fields and checkboxes

Digital transformation iceberg: fields, checkboxes, validations, eSignatures, permissions, web services, broker and agent support, multi-language

Often, IT departments think “How hard can it be? We’ll build it ourselves.” 

But it is simple only when you look at just the tip of the iceberg. IT leaders often underestimate the complexity of the task at hand and don’t anticipate the issues that arise after the customer-facing digital journey has been deployed in production.

If you think of digital journeys as just fields and checkboxes, you might think it is smooth sailing with code. But today’s digital journeys are complex. When built with code, these journeys often take over a year to build, fail to address organizational bottlenecks, and remain extremely costly to maintain. 

Code is often touted as allowing for a higher level of flexibility and control. But in reality, coding digital journeys means that IT teams are so swamped that they lose flexibility and control. Often, insurance IT teams realize that No-Code platforms are best at solving this complexity only after experiencing these issues first-hand.

No-Code platforms actually offer more flexibility and control than code. It is difficult to anticipate business needs in advance and plan for all possible features that you might need down the road – for example, multi-language capability, cobrowsing, agent/broker workflows, permissions, and Salesforce integrations. 

What insurers are getting wrong about digitizing forms

Insurers who are at the very beginning of their digitization journey often underestimate the difficulty of seemingly easy projects. Transforming paper and PDF forms into user-friendly digital journeys that can be accessed on multiple channels and through any devices is one such project. 

In the beginning, companies don’t understand two important things about digitizing forms:

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

A medium-sized insurance company will have anywhere between 100 and 200 distinct processes that require customer data collection. 

Many times, digital transformation initiatives will start by digitizing the biggest processes – for example, new customer onboarding or quoting, claims, supports, and broker-agent workflows. But, after a few year-long projects, they realize that it is not sustainable to digitize hundreds of the processes that have remained the same.

It’s not a “build and forget” kind of arrangement

Digital journeys require heavy maintenance. After you’ve completed the journey, you can expect to receive a steady stream of support tickets each month in order to deal with bug fixes, design adjustments, and new features.

As a result, bottlenecks and backlogs become a mainstay in your organization.

Agile change at scale is impossible with code

What happens when a new regulation comes into effect? For example, when new accessibility standards demand that the font size must be adjustable by the user, you will need to change all forms. Marketing just released a new brand guidelines – you must implement the new design across the board. A new internal system was introduced – you must connect all forms to it one-by-one.

You get the picture.

A form is much more than fields and checkboxes

At the start of the project, you might think that a digital form is simple. After all, it is just fields and checkboxes. You couldn’t be more wrong.  

If a form were just static fields, the issue could be easily resolved with code. But as time goes by and your organization becomes more digitally mature, these initially simple forms are going to become very complex systems.

Customer collection forms require integrating and orchestrating multiple systems and web services, managing permissions, and running validations, in addition to complex calculations, personalization, multi-language support, live customer representative communication, agent/broker support, data visibility, and A/B testing.

Good luck coding all that at the enterprise scale.

It’s not a form, it’s a living and breathing system

Once you’ve converted your first few forms to digital journeys, the number of changes for these digital forms is much higher than those required for paper forms.

The pace in the digital world is just much quicker. As a result, your team will end up spending most of their time maintaining existing forms, instead of digitizing new processes. Keeping up with an ever-growing backlog becomes impossible, leading to bottlenecks and lost business opportunities. To keep up the pace, you will need to dedicate more resources to the development team, pulling your developers from other projects.

Ongoing optimization and change management

Agility and change is the name of the digital game. 

To stay competitive, insurers must figure out new ways to optimize processes and improve revenues. Every transaction and every interaction with potential customers must contribute to the bottom line. Coded processes are difficult to optimize. On the other hand, no-code platforms provide a unified interface for optimization and change management of all processes throughout the organization.

Compliance, security, and other considerations

Insurance and banking are two highly regulated industries. 

The production deployment process is long and painful because you can’t risk introducing vulnerabilities into existing systems and because compliance requirements must be met.

When you take all this into consideration, it becomes clear that forms are far from being easy to solve with code. Forms are complex and difficult to maintain. Code requires a huge investment of experienced teams, bugs, and QA.

No-code tools can complement your existing tech stack

While it is not true for every project, when it comes to developing digital customer journeys, no-code platform is the most efficient solution. If you have already started your digital transformation journey with code, you know what we are talking about. 

Schedule a demo to learn how EasySend can help you convert your customer collection forms into user-friendly digital journeys by the end of next Code vs no code, simple change management, add advantage, agility, competitive advantagequarter.

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