Anyone who ever tried to navigate through a new city by car
before the days of GPS will know that sinking sensation they got
when they realize—despite their best efforts—they simply “can’t
get there from here.” The changes the digital revolution brought
to our industry might evoke a similar feeling. Each insurer needs
to find their bridge to the digital future of insurance, and the way
forward is not always clear.
Where We’re Headed
Change is coming from all sides. Insurers feel the pressure to
engage with innovation, emerging technologies, advanced data
and analytics, new business models, insurtech, digital interactions, and many others. It’s hard to know where to start.
One approach that is gaining traction throughout the industry is convergence: combining the best of the new with the
strongest of existing and established industry practices. Companies pursuing convergence will see transformation across the
enterprise in three areas: people, process, and technology.
K What the role of people will be in this new environment can
cause some anxiety. Science fiction is not the only place to
read about scenarios where machines will rule and people
will be displaced. But the reality is much different. Tech-
nological changes will continue to depend on people and
technology’s primary role will be to help people rather than
replace them. The technologies already here—and those still
developing—will improve the work environment. Respon-
sibilities will shift, but not disappear, as people continue to
perform the most critical functions, assisted in their analysis
and decision-making with the right information and tools.
K What will certainly change is how technology, innovation,
and new business models affect insurers’ processes. This is
where we will see the biggest impact of advanced data and
analytics as usage spreads across the enterprise and from the
beginning to the end of every transaction. Technologies like
robotic process automation (RPA) will support those func-
tions, easing the demand for human attention to simple, re-
petitive tasks. Specific places liable to see tremendous change
are underwriting (with increasingly sophisticated analytics)
and claims (with drones and smart glasses).
K Technology is at the heart of the changes sweeping through
insurance. Trends in insurech, emerging technology, and maturetech are demanding more from insurers than ever before.
J Insurtech (new tech startups with insurance-specific
focus) offers an especially high-profile series of technological breakthroughs, challenges, and opportunities.
J Emerging technologies (such as the Internet of Things,
drones, artificial intelligence, and wearable devices) enable
the development of new products and services, including
new value propositions for customers.
J Maturetech (insurers’ existing technical environments)
The Bridge to Tomorrow
Seven pathways insurers can use to ground their transformation strategies.