Technology has a big role to play in insurance, not just when it comes to driving the industry to evolve and providing businesses with opportunities for growth but also in terms of creating new environments in which teams can thrive. As the pace of change increases in the insurance sector these are some of the ways in which technology is going to continue to have a big impact.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI). This technology is going to make a difference across insurance to everyone, from underwriters to claims adjusters. For now, AI is likely to become increasingly integrated to support manual underwriting work but there is the potential for machine learning to take on a bigger role in future to reduce underwriting cost and improve risk management. AI will also have a role to play in helping to mitigate bias and ethics violations and ensure greater compliance.
- The machine as the end user. Traditionally, design-thinking methodologies that have served as the basis for systems have been focused on humans as the end user. However, as more industries integrate automation and machine driven systems those insurers that are able to design IT systems that support machine-to-machine communication will find it easier to offer value added services to business. This is a potentially huge growth area for insurers.
- Data and the industry ecosystem. Data has huge value in insurance today - as long as it is being optimised. New technology will enable data to be shared across entire industry ecosystems without compromising the security of that data or moving it. At the same time, analytics and AI can be applied to the data to help extract insights and information so that an anonymised version can be shared across an entire ecosystem of insurance entities in order for the whole sector to benefit.
- Agility and collaboration. It’s likely that technology is going to provide insurers with the opportunity to decentralise with more reliance on agile, collaborative teams, supported by IT infrastructure and a DevOps culture. The focus for these teams is likely to be on business outcomes, as opposed to individual performance. Team structures will shift too with cross-selling and up-selling enabled by cross-functional groups with abilities across AI, risk assessment and sales and underwriting.
- Insurtechs. As an industry, insurance has been significantly disrupted in recent years by businesses that have promoted the use of new and emerging technology to overturn the status quo. These enterprises - ‘insurtechs’ - have caused a ripple effect across the industry in terms of what it means to do business in insurance. This is filtering up to leadership, which is now based not just on business skills but being tech-savvy too. This new generation of insurance leaders is going to continue disrupting processes along the value chain and finding new opportunities to integrate technology in order to improve service and outcomes.
Technology has already provided a wealth of opportunities for the insurance industry to improve everything, from business structure through to customer engagement and product delivery. These are just some of the ways in which it is going to continue to disrupt in the years to come.