Customer Experience, Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Enablement have been the crux of discussions in the Insurance industry for the past few years.
Industry has been taking steps towards transformation, slowly shedding the legacy. However, the pandemic was and continues to be an (unwanted) rocket booster, leaving the industry no choice but to hasten up on these initiatives. The need for being agile, fast, virtual, and always ‘accessible’ is now more than ever. We are now in an age, where elevator buttons are controlled by sensors, all the other industries are re-inventing themselves and fast in providing unperceived customer experiences, which are also widely influencing the customer expectations/demands from ‘Insurance’ – products and services. Time to ‘change’ is yesterday.
With this in mind, sharing a few thoughts on the (potential) technology trends we see the Industry to be focusing on, to better serve their customers, to better transact their business, to better decide and re-calibrate to be the best in the market. Most of these continue on from 2021….
- Digital Transformation – The need for a holistic transformation, across value chain, across people (employees, partners, customers) for providing easy, fast, and always accessible mediums is driving this transformation. A Chat BOT for your customers for transacting business, a web portal for your agents acting as a one stop location for everything related to you, automated workflows internal / external and many such initiatives comprise your entire digital transformation journey.
- Everything on Cloud – For Faster Processing, Improved Security, Anytime Access.. And so on! The benefits of moving to cloud aren’t unknown – and with technology providers developing cloud-based solutions to help Insurers transform to this seamless experience is one step towards implementation. In addition, the reason insurers haven’t been keen on this was because of a lingering fear around security concerns. The mindset is now changing, in lieu of virtual offices, ease in data accessibility, BCP etc. Word on the street is that Cloud is becoming vertical based – which will further ease the existing concerns around security.
- Let Go: Legacy (Legacy Modernization) – This is a part of the above in some ways. Mainframe systems, which have heavily supported insurers till date have finally started giving up. Either due to lack of support from vendors, or for Insurance companies facing challenges to implement or add anything new to their existing mainframe setup, or the overall high costs in maintenance is pushing companies towards modernization. The hidden costs are no secret! The modernization could be in the context of an add-on to the existing or replace on the whole, however, a shift from legacy (system and mindset 😊) is in 2022s agenda for many insurers.
- Cyber security – Owing to the pandemic, cyber security now has two different dimensions. One is internally focused – ‘Everything on cloud’ or Virtual Office for your employees warrants dedicated focus on continuously reviewing and enhancing the Security measures, across network and infrastructure components. Focusing on reviewing where you are today and what are the key immediate measures you need to take to get the ‘Basic’ level of security can be a good starting point. Two, designing an Insurance product for your customers after all, virtual office is the new normal across the globe. Including this as an addon cover to your home products is considered as a simple but effective differentiator for you.
- Touchless & Automated – The numerous conversations we had with multiple clients and prospects over 2021 – one of the areas of transformation everyone seemed keen on is making their processes automated and if possible touchless. Majority prioritized claims for this. The constant effort to reduce costs & timelines with focus on improving experience and efficiency through AI / ML continues to be the driving factor. The key is to ensure you identify those low hanging fruits for automation based on consideration parameters such as repetitiveness, timelines, handoffs etc. for example – reconciliations is a process that is regular, time taking and one that’s painful for the accounts department. A lot of companies have also started looking at making catastrophic claims processes much simpler, touchless, and easy to handle.
- Beyond Data – It was long since the realization that Data is the new oil has dawned. However, the use and impact has grown multi-fold since. With technology advancements, the amount of data being accumulated by Insurance Companies is in multiples of what was initially collected. But this is not just data, this is “smart data” – that helps monitor risks, analyse & assess business functioning, take informed decisions and make accurate predictions. It doesn’t stop there. Companies have also started looking at pooling their data into a single ecosystem, which helps a chain / group of companies make the right decisions and derive higher value through this shared data mechanism.
- Improved Product Models – Insurance is difficult to sell, and with the pandemic in hand and minimal consumer exposure – this becomes even more difficult! But the idea of selling your Insurance in tandem to other related products with customized offerings sounds great to the customer. They aren’t lost between coverages / products / inclusions / exclusions but process their transaction with just a click of a button. Again, owing to pandemic and the changing customer needs, this is an area of interest in the coming years.
- Blockchain Booming? – Something to help you manage your brand, data, contracts, and other such key information? Blockchain is here. While the use cases of blockchain and distributed ledgers are still in discussions, we are sure these technologies are a boon to the Insurance Industry for the kind of data we deal and manage. This particular trend will still take some time to pick up in comparison to the others, but it’s here to stay for a long time.
With the above in account, we hope your plans for 2022 also lie on the same path. These might seem overwhelming, but please remember, all these trends are pieces of the puzzle for Insurers in becoming truly ‘Digital’ holistically, and the journey to this has to be ‘Incremental’ with the motto of focusing on the ‘little bets’
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Biz Tech Insights Team Manomay
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