“Rise Of Ecosystems Is The Most Important Trend for Decision Makers” – Christian Kromann, CEO – Tia Technology

We noticed some time ago, that the insurance solution provider Tia Technology is expanding its presence beyond it’s core markets. That was reason enough for us to ask their CEO Christian Kromann and Marketing Director Maria Liw their experiences, goals and analysis of the current state of the insurance industry. 

For a soft start, please share your top 3 books everyone should read and top 3 gadgets everyone should have

Factfulness by Hans Rosling for a great introduction to the power of data. It also gives you a sense of hope. (Available in Germanyin the USin the UK, in France, in Italyand in Spain)

From Good to Great by Jim Collins. It is an older book now, but I use it from time to time to remind me of how important it is to make sure that everyone in the organization is pulling in the same direction. It also reminds me of how important it is to disrupt ourselves. (Available in Germanyin the USin the UKand in Spain)

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. This is probably one of the greatest challenges for any leader. The book reminds me of that. (Available in Germanyin the USin the UK, in France, in Italyand in Spain)

Gadgets: My running watch, My Tesla and My phone (with the rest of the gadgets on)

Steve Krug’s “Don’t make me think” for some really entertaining and easy to digest as well as valuable input into building digital interaction and customer journeys. (Available in Germanyin the USin the UK, in France, in Italy, and in Spain)

“Stoner”, by John Williams; for mindfulness and reflection on life and the choices we make. Without sentiment describing an ordinary but still significant life of a human being. (Available in Germanyin the USin the UK, in France, in Italy and in Spain)

Gadget: not into gadgets much; have all the gadgets needed in my smartphone 😉

What kind of trends do you currently see in the insurance industry? How will the industry look like in 5-10 years?

Christian: We recently did an internal workshop at Tia where we tried to get on the same page about what we see as the most important trends impacting us and our customers. A few of the top trends we identified are: 

  1. The rise of ecosystems: The growing importance of customer-centricity and more seamless user experiences are leading to the rise of ecosystems, where services are bundled together. Companies across sectors will need a technical ecosystem to support this new integrated way of doing business. Insurers could seize the opportunity to become the orchestrators of ecosystems. 
  2. Data value and security: The explosion of data has potential to vastly improve lives as well as making them more complex and potentially less secure. Insurers are looking for ways to capitalize on their data to serve customers better without violating privacy or regulations.
  3. Freedom from ownership: Access to products and services facilitated by digital platforms could become more important than ownership. This will free consumers from the hassles of having insurance, worrying about maintenance and financing purchases. We forecast a shift from individually owned insurance objects to multiple objects owned by larger entities. Insurance needs will follow. 

Which trend should a decision maker in the insurance industry invest most of his attention to?

Christian: I think the rise of ecosystems is the most important trend for decision makers. If insurers do not have the ability to participate in ecosystems, much less orchestrate them, they will miss out on opportunities and potentially lose the ability to compete altogether.

That’s why we are working to optimize our solutions for ecosystems and make it fit to robustly host a multitude of ecosystem partners. We also have our own ecosystem partnerships that our customers can take advantage of as they build out their own digital ecosystems. 

You knowing the market in depths and seeing a lot of incumbents from the inside. What do successful ones do right and those who struggle fail at? 

Christian: What we have seen is that the incumbents who have challenged themselves in terms of their organizational structure and their culture have been most successful in their digital transformations. We see almost every day how traditional silos completely block innovation, and that if the company does not embrace agile ways of development, it can’t get any traction in getting ideas to market.

Although it requires a lot of hard work and solid commitment from top management, incumbents absolutely need to restructure into agile development teams and consistently nurture a culture of innovation. 

Please share more about Tia. How would you explain to a 10-year-old how your tech company and its products?

Christian: Today, consumers expect insurers to deliver the same kind of world-class digital experiences that we get from banks, travel agents and entertainment providers. No matter where. No matter when. Sadly, many insurers don’t have the necessary control of their own data processes and are forced to settle for dangerously bumpy digital customer journeys – simply because their IT platforms aren’t geared for today’s transformation pace. End-customers – caring very little for insurers’ back-end blues – demand self-service, automated case-handling and fix-it-now chatbots. 

But, customising user experiences, connecting touch points and operating analytics is almost impossible, when claims handling takes place in one system, sales and underwriting in another and risk management leads a life of its own. To stay resilient and enable growth, insurers must find new ways to connect data and digital processes. 

How do you see your company in the next 5-10 years?

Christian: The largest transformation for Tia is the one from software company to a solution delivery company. This means that Tia will deliver all capabilities as services. This fundamentally changes how we develop and deliver. But it also changes how it is to be a customer. We are well prepared and have already reached critical milestones ISAE 3402 accreditation, live customers, etc, but we are also humble about the challenge.

What are the successful use cases and developments that made you proud over the last 12 months?

Christian: I am very proud of our work with KLP. KLP is Norway’s largest pension company, and provides financial and insurance services to the public sector, to enterprises associated with the public sector and to their employees. For their private P&C products, they went live in December with a new web solution. They’ve implemented a configurable front end supported by Tia Sales Product Designer, which lets them configure new products in real time and create new web flows with minimal involvement from IT. I believe they will significantly increase their top line with our solution and I’m looking forward to seeing the results. 

Codan Norway has also recently introduced a state-of-the-art digital front end to their agents and brokers. This set-up allows Scania Finans AB, (a world-leading provider of transport solutions and the first Codan partner to use Tia Agent), to sell Codan insurance tailored for Scania customers.

Storebrand Health, a digital frontrunner in Nordic Health, has also implemented Tia-as-a-Service, our comprehensive cloud solution. All of these cases are clearly demonstrating the impact of our digital solutions and I can’t wait to see the impact these solutions have on these clients’ businesses over time. 

Please share your thoughts about your “Insurance at the speed of life” theme for your upcoming event – what does that mean?”

Maria: Consumers are living faster lives than ever before, and they expect their insurance provider to cater to that. Complex policies cluttered with fine print, opaque buying processes, and weeks-long claims settlements are no longer good enough. Insurers everywhere need to pick up speed in order to meet customers where they are and rise above the competition. That’s what ‘Insurance at the speed of life’ is all about, and at our Tia Community Conference 2019 we plan to explore a plethora of ideas, solutions, technologies and strategies around how to deliver it to customers.

Please tell us more about TCC 2019 in Budapest?

Maria: We’ve been holding the Tia Community Conference every year for nearly the last two decades. It started out mostly for techies but has grown to become much more strategic. Today our participants include CIOs, COOs, claims directors, claims handlers, developers, UXers – from all over the world.

Akenine, AI expert and National Technology Officer at Microsoft Sweden. We’ve also got Nicole Evans, Global Customer Experience Manager at BIMA Mobile, Digital Insurance expert and contributor to The InsurTECH Book, Susanne Møllegaard, and many more.

We’ll also be hosting panel discussions around innovation and roundtable sessions where we deep-dive into specific topics requested by customers. And there is an excellent conference dinner, this year at an 18th-century monastery, and an exciting networking excursion into Budapest. (We like to mix business with pleasure and luckily so do our TCC-ers.)

Tia Technology, founded and headquartered in Copenhagen, provides an open and flexible software platform to insurers all over the world. They are offering the full scope of expert implementation, application management and hosting services, and they deploy their expertise to help insurers execute their digital and business strategies and stay competitive.

With more than 20 years of developing insurance software experience, they were taught that the only constant is change. Consequently, their solutions enable insurers all over the world to create solutions that rapidly target user needs, not just system requirements. 

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