Reaping the Benefits of Web 2.0: European Insurers Strategies that Work

by Nicolas Michellod, June 17, 2009
Case Studies
Global, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, North America

Abstract

While many people refer to Web 2.0 as a technology, Celent considers it more of an attitude. Web 2.0 combines the need for more mobility, faster information flow, a higher degree of openness, and reliance on collaboration and community.

In a new report, Reaping the Benefits of Web 2.0: European Insurers' Strategies that Work, Celent reviews the elements of Web 2.0 and defines the technologies supporting the Web 2.0 attitude. Celent also analyses the current status of insurers' adoption of Web 2.0 technologies and tries to identify how insurers evaluate the benefits generated by Web 2.0 initiatives.

 Question

Response 

Attitude 

Enabling Technologies 

 Where?

 

 Everywhere

 

Mobility: Getting access to social networks or being able to communicate from anywhere in the world have become important aspects of today’s communication. Web 2.0 requires low restriction in terms of communication capabilities.

Wandering electronic goods such as mobile phones, portable media players, and extra-light laptops.

 

 When?

 

 Immediately

 Spontaneousness: Impatience is one of the key elements of the Web 2.0 attitude. People need information more quickly but they also want to share it more rapidly. Systems allowing instant communication like chats, instant messaging (IM), Really Simply Syndication (RSS), and to a certain extend SMS and Voice over IP (VoIP).

 What?

 Everything

 Openness: People have an increasing need to share all kind of information with others. This attitude sometimes involves deep privacy concerns. The need for more transparency is supported by the increasing number of social networks and communities (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) as well as blogs.

To whom?

 

 Everybody

Collaboration: There is a social focus in Web 2.0. People like sharing information and opinions, but they require collaborative actions in order to feel part of a community. Platform allowing free change of information content such as Wikis and blogs or other types of collaborative online sites.

 How?

The easiest way  Usability: Web 2.0 has a specific focus on usability and any kind of technologies enabling or easing interactivity improve usability.  AJAX, Flash, Flex, Tagging or Mashup.

"The components of the Web 2.0 attitude do not only affect core processes such as distribution, new business acquisition, administration, etc. but also key supporting processes like human resources," says Nicolas Michellod, senior analyst with Celent’s insurance practice and author of the report. "What Web 2.0 has contributed to create in an open environment (the web) and at an international level (the world), insurers try to emulate in a closed environment (their intranet) and at a corporate level (their internal hierarchy)," he adds.

The most important section of this report is dedicated to a review of initiatives launched by European insurers in the Web 2.0 area. More particularly, these projects are classified in three different domains: online sales portals, social networking and community and underwriting. In a final section, Celent provides a view of how insurers should analyse Web 2.0 initiatives and strategies and what kind of initiatives might be the preferred ones from insurers in the near future.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
mpace@celent.com
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
cwilliams@celent.com
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
ynagaoka@celent.com
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

3
Web 2.0 and the Insurance Industry 7
Final Thoughts 26

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