By: René Dufrene, GM Industry Solutions – Financial Services, AT&T Business
As with many other industries, the Insurance Property & Casualty business is currently in the midst of a transformation. New trends and technologies are quickly bringing change to this space. The future of insurance stands to be influenced by the advances in digital innovations and cutting-edge technologies.
Key factors driving the change are rising customer expectations, the need to improve operational efficiencies, changes in the risk landscape, and competitive threats. Change stimulates innovation. And innovation has spurred an emergence of InsurTech startups. New solutions are available – portals, mobile apps, home or personal devices and more.
These trends are driving insurance firms need to transform from a product-centric mindset to a customer-centric one, enabled by the power of data. Therefore, insurance providers are more and more becoming tech-driven companies.
Digital insurance brings innovation and choices that can lead to the enhanced customer experiences and improved business efficiencies the industry is seeking. However, along with these benefits come lots of consideration and challenges.
There are many new technologies for Lines of Business & IT managers to explore. Although a technology may offer the enhancements or efficiencies being sought, it must also adhere to security and compliance regulations.
Another consideration when implementing new solutions is whether they are compatible with the legacy systems. Adapting the current system can be difficult as well as expensive, though may be necessary to provide an improved experience.
The task at hand can be daunting for some IT managers. A recent survey shows that 56% of providers polled stated they are just starting to develop a digital strategy.*
While technology is quickly evolving, implementing and executing a digital strategy is not insurmountable. Embrace the new technologies. Explore them with the help of Innovation Centers, providers, and consultants. Proper incorporation of new technologies, supported by an overarching strategy, will lead to desired business outcomes.
Take action to capitalize on the opportunities of the new digital insurance. Here are a few areas where technologies have matured or soon will to support Insurance use cases in claims processing and risk prevention:
- Cloud – Core Insurance applications continue to move to the cloud. Factoring in the overall digital strategy, it is a good time to redesign the systems to support newer capabilities.
- Network Evolution – An intelligent and dynamic network, is an important requirement to support mobile appraisers, field agents, utilization of drones, connected vehicles, and core business systems. Helping enable processing such as analytics to occur closer to the source is an example. Think of drones capturing images with analysis happening very quickly to provide the insurer and/or the customer near real-time information. Intelligent Edge Computing, virtualized networking and 5G are technologies to strongly consider.
- Open API’s for Communication Platforms – Developing applications to enhance communications is a tremendous benefit. It makes life easier for your customers to reach you and/or for your employees to remain in contact. Communication Platforms that utilize open API’s can help incorporate new ways to communicate into your business applications.
- IoT – Drones, connected cars, asset tracking, smart sensors in commercial buildings, street lights and in the home bring near real-time data in claims processing and risk prevention. Capturing, analyzing, and acting upon this data is key.
- AI – Artificial Intelligence is increasingly being incorporated to improve customer experiences and operational efficiencies.
- AR/VR – Augmented/Virtual Reality is emerging in Insurance and has the potential to transform key areas like training field workers, assess property damage remotely, and improve the customer experience. Now is the time to shape and define new use cases.
These new technologies will eventually support innovation in claims processing, risk prevention, and more. The greatest risk you can take is inaction. It will require changes to your business processes. But it will lead to greater efficiencies. Take advantage of resources like Innovation Centers and a partner ecosystem to ease the transition.
It is a great time for innovation. The payoff can be beneficial to your clients and your business.