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I’m honored to be speaking next week at the Digital Insurance World conference in London on October 18th. My presentation is on Radical Automation in Insurance. I’ll be sharing how our clients are leveraging digital technologies to gain a competitive advantage through “radical automation.” By radical automation, I mean using digital technologies to provide on-demand expert services to customers and partners, delivering a far more compelling experience to more customers with fewer resources.
It’s no secret that new tools and technologies are radically changing the ways businesses function worldwide. Powered by digital solutions, companies can be more agile, connected, aligned and efficient than ever before, and this allows them to deliver unparalleled service to their customers and clients. In some ways, new digital innovations are completely redefining entire industries.
The insurance industry is no different than others in that regard. Customers are using digital tools and technologies in their everyday lives and the bar has been raised as a result. People expect insurance companies to fall in line and deliver the digital experiences they get from other companies. For example, one study conducted by Accenture found 88% of customers use at least one digital channel when exploring different insurance products and services, while 41% want more digital interaction with agencies.
Of course, the integration of new tools and technology is not solely for customer engagement. New solutions can empower business activities such as data management and security, data visualization and analysis, workforce automation and business rules and logic management in a way that radically enhances everyday efficiency. In an industry dealing with increasingly smaller margins, improvement to operational capacity may be one avenue that can help insurance agencies improve their margins.
There is great incentive for embracing digital transformation in the insurance industry. IT consultant Mindtree estimates insurers that have invested in digital tools and technology have managed to increase their market share by 9%, while those that have taken a more conservative approach have lost around 7.6% of their market share.
However, from an outside perspective, digital adoption seems to be lagging in the insurance industry—especially among long-time players in the sector. Many insurers take a more conservative, incremental approach to implementing new tools and technology. The problem isn’t ignorance or lack of interest. Many insurers want to embark on a digital transformation and implement new technology that can improve customer engagement and operational efficiency.
The real challenge is infrastructure. The insurance industry is steeped in tradition and some service providers have been around for hundreds of years. Over the years, they have invested in and deployed technology solutions. As new tools are developed, they have been bolted on to existing solutions. As such, the backbone of many insurance company’s digital foundation is decades-old technology.
Now, many insurance companies have reached critical mass and there is a sentiment that changing things too much will do more harm than good.
For some companies, digital transformation means throwing everything out and starting anew with new technology and cutting-edge solutions that completely redefine their internal operations. In fact, many younger players in the insurance industry take this approach and they build entire applications and infrastructure from the ground up using new technology to deliver the best customer experiences.
However, insurers need to understand that digital transformation doesn’t have to be rip and replace. Simply modernizing critical business processes with externalized rules management and modern user interfaces can be wildly beneficial. Decision making powers a bulk of insurances tasks, ranging from policy underwriting to claims processing and approval. Much of this decision making can be effectively automated using business rules management software (AKA rules engines), which can bolt onto existing systems. Additionally, many insurers have strong core systems, but no easy way to expose services directly to their customers, such as online applications or online claim submissions. Adding new and engaging web and mobile user interfaces onto existing systems can leverage core assets in new ways, delighting customers and helping to win new business.
To compete in a digital age, insurers need to undergo a digital transformation. However, digital transformation means different things to different companies and each insurer will need to find its own path. But make no mistake, the path does exist—it’s just a matter of working with the right partners to find that path and execute on it so insurers can reap the long-term rewards of agility, growth and profitability.
Progress offers a powerful platform to deliver radical automation and truly adaptive applications. These applications are adaptive in two important ways. First, they are incredibly fast to build and even faster to change. Second, they deliver a user experience similar to speaking directly to an insurance companies best agents. Whether customers are looking to for advice on what insurance products they need, seeking a quote or filing a claim, they are able to complete their request in a fraction of the time through automated agents.
We deliver Adaptive Apps through our Rollbase Low Code Platform and Corticon Business Rules Engine. These products together enable our clients to build and deliver complete responsive web applications, that are truly adaptive. Using Rollbase and Corticon, you can build adaptive apps in a fraction of the time, with a fraction of the technical skills. We hope to have the opportunity to work with you.
Dr. Mark Allen is a Progress General Manager, dedicated to advancing business automation and passionate about applying technology to improve the world. In 2000, he founded Corticon, later acquired by Progress in 2011. Under his leadership, Corticon became a leading independent business rules platform with hundreds of customers in diverse industries such as financial services, government, healthcare and insurance. Prior to founding Corticon, Dr. Allen developed rules-based systems to help physicians make better patient care decisions. Dr. Allen has a B.S. in Applied Physics from Columbia University, and an M.D. from the University of California Los Angeles.
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