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How does a risk manager develop a digital strategy?

David Thomas

Knowing where to start with digitization and creating a digital strategy can be a bit of a minefield. It is important to firstly take a step back and assess where your business currently is. Then ask yourself, what could be possible with digital tools?

Typical challenges an organization faces when evolving from analog to digital include as a starting point:

  • Inefficient processes
  • Data chaos & management-by-Excel
  • High administrative effort
  • No insights into risks, costs, to-dos, etc.

What goes into a digital strategy?

  1. Manage your objectives. It’s important to do your background work. Once you have a good grasp on where your challenges lie, what processes are cumbersome or ineffective and what opportunities are available to improve your business, you can create your digital strategy. A risk manager should have an overall operational view of the business to be able to identify the risks (positive and negative) that could affect your competitive edge in the marketplace.

  2. Choose a Data Repository. If you are going to digitize the business, all your data needs to be easily accessible from one place. That means choosing a data storage option – such as a data warehouse or data lake. This should store current and historical data (GDPR and other legal obligations need to be considered) from all your systems – essentially linking legacy software solutions together. A cloud storage solution like this is accessible from anywhere.

    You will need to consider your business’ needs today, and in the future, to choose a scalable option – for example, do you need support for multi-currency or multiple languages? Does the architecture used to store data work for your data sources? You might also like to consider extras like self-service management options and international helpdesk support.

    At Ventiv, we have our own private data center in the EU that is ISO 27001 certified and ensures security and privacy through role-based authorization. 

  3. Data Sources. With so much data available – from contact details to incident or claims information – it can be overwhelming to begin managing this. Large quantities of unstructured information is commonly referred to as ‘big data’.

    Having accurate, complete information in an organized structure is important so that you can trust your analysis. Avoiding human error when inputting data is often a challenge for businesses. Using digital tools to capture data can help reduce inaccuracies.

    When looking at what data you have and what questions your business wants to answer, consider all internal systems, entities, suppliers and public sources. Assess how this data will flow into your repository – how often, how much, its accuracy, the processes that you receive it and how you can tag it in a meaningful way (data mapping).

    As an example, Ventiv Digital allows users to complete a data capture form while out on site. Fields can be restricted to drop down menus to avoid typing errors, essential information can be made mandatory to complete and information is submitted to the database in real-time when there is access to the internet.

  4. Actionable Insights. Analyzing data and turning this into actionable insights that drive operational change is often seen as a specialist skill. Being able to harness the power of analytics is an important part of an effective digital strategy. Simply put, if you can’t reduce costs or increase profits from digitization, then what is the point?

    You can use modern risk management analytics software tools to interrogate your trusted data stored in your chosen data repository. You can perform searches and create reports. In practical terms, as a risk or insurance manager, you could analyze insurance claims data, and combine this with third party statistics, to decide which risks are more likely and would have a more significant impact on your business. This can help focus risk mitigation strategies and with choosing insurance policies.

    Data-driven organizations outperform their competition. Analytical tools, such as Ventiv Analytics, are evolving and becoming more sophisticated all the time, providing deeper insights and all but predicting the future.

  5. Automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Many businesses already have plans that include points 1-4. However, automation is still in the early adoption phase.

    Automating processes can save time and costs on laborious manual tasks and avoid human data input errors. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is where bots follow workflows to carry out simple, repetitive, rule-based tasks. These can work between legacy systems. They have the same security access restrictions as an employee and can only work within set parameters. For example, if a completed claims form is sent to an email address, the bot can take the claim reference number and find the file, update specified information and save.

    Artificial intelligence takes this one step further with the idea of machine learning and natural language processing. In 2018, Adobe estimated that just 15% of businesses were using AI, but predicted that by the end of 2019, this will increase to 31%. Conversational data queries are possible through Alexa or Siri style search which brings analytics and reporting into the mainstream – and accessible to all employees.

While there is uncertainty among some leaders over the risks and benefits of digitization, we firmly believe that every business should be shaping and implementing a digital risk strategy to keep up with and outperform competitors.

David Thomas is the Sales Director at Ventiv Technology. If you would like any further information on this topic please contact him





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