Around 82 percent of the 623 insurance executives who responded to Accenture’s Technology Vision for Insurance 2018 survey agreed that their organizations must innovate at an increasingly rapid pace just to maintain a competitive edge. As insurers conduct the 2019 budgeting process, CIOs and CTOs continue to invest in technology that will drive revenue growth, simplify business operations, improve operational efficiency, and better serve customers and distribution partners.

Insurance CIOs tell us they’re looking for technological innovations that deliver efficient self-service and front- and back-office automation. These innovations rely on data. Insurers with an enterprise data strategy, and the capability to extract / expose data and convert it into actionable insights, can deliver the higher service levels that intermediaries and customers expect.

Accenture Life and Annuity Software believes that a modern operating platform is key to a digital strategy that enables insurers to leverage these 5 must-have insurance technologies:

  1. Data & analytics. While insurers’ policy administration systems are the biggest contributors of data, they are being supplemented by websites, social media, wearables, digital voice assistants and other devices. Together, the insights gained could potentially lead to new and innovative insurance products and services. A modern core platform is needed to integrate all this data seamlessly across enterprise business systems and throughout the insurance ecosystem.
  2. Secure systems. Cyber-risks are especially threatening for insurers that are struggling with the vulnerabilities of legacy systems. These systems are often difficult to update with the latest security enhancements, making modernization critical to reducing risk across the enterprise.
  3. A compelling user experience. As online retailers continue to raise the bar, insurers’ digitally savvy customers and distribution partners expect similar experiences with all of their online transactions, including the distribution and purchase of products. Again, data will underpin key features such as personalization on a mass scale. And the growing adoption of new devices such as digital voice assistants / smart speakers will continue to drive the need for device-agnostic user experiences.
  4. Artificial intelligence. AI and machine learning will complement human workforces. The combination can optimize underwriting resources, as an example, by reducing manual intervention and automatically fine-tuning underwriting algorithms to further reduce risk and improve product performance. To be effective, AI and machine learning rely on data veracity. Yet 26 percent of insurers say they validate data sources to some extent but admit there is more they should do to ensure data quality. Data veracity should be built into the core technology platform.
  5. Ecosystem connectivity. The ability to interact effectively with business partners is a key enabler, irrespective of whether an insurer owns the technology platform, orchestrates the ecosystem or simply participates in it. Accenture research indicates that 94 percent of carriers acknowledge that it is critical to their success to adopt a platform-based business model and engage in ecosystems with digital partners[1]. Accelerated integration development will become table stakes as digital ecosystems expand beyond the insurance sector, making standardized file formats and testing tools indispensable to insurers’ ability to connect seamlessly.

Technological innovation combined with a modern core operating platform are vital to achieving rapid new product launches, improved customer and agent engagement, and ease of doing business via mobile devices, direct-to-consumer models and automation. As data proliferates, the need to manage it at scale grows. With a modern platform, scalability comes as a built-in benefit – a stepping stone to future digital initiatives and a necessary contributor to business growth.

Learn how technologies in the industry-recognized Accenture Life Insurance & Annuity Platform (ALIP) can help your insurance business compete more effectively.

Additional reading:

Evolution Versus Revolution: Why native cloud is not the answer for life insurers … yet.

[1]Accenture Insurance Technology Vision 2017,” study of 563 insurance respondents from across the world.

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