During an interview in the run up to Insurance Age‘s Digital Broker event in June, keynote speaker Matt Brocklehurst, product marketing manager at Google, said he thinks the most important aspect of his forthcoming speech is that “change has never happened this fast before, and it will never be this slow again.”[1]  Such change is largely being driven by digital disruption—and by customers who are not prepared to wait for organisations to be ready to offer them the products and services they desire.

Take the situation facing insurers. New distribution models offered by companies like Walmart and IKEA are challenging current business practices.[2] New “customers” in the form of autonomous cars could threaten future premiums by up to 80 percent,[3] while other technologies might promise growth—insurance on household robots assisting the elderly, or commercial risk management for distributed manufacturing using 3D printing.[4]   It’s a world of smart systems and a new kind of software intelligence—one that turbocharges a combination of brain, brawn and technology to drive unprecedented levels of innovation throughout the business.

Decision making is being turned on its head. Today, software intelligence helps organisations make better decisions, self-evolve and discover. Tomorrow, cognitive computing may extend a machine’s ability to sense, comprehend, and act. This will turn software intelligence into a core capability for insurers—meaning they can not only raise their game in terms of operational excellence, but also use big data to their keen advantage. In research conducted for the Technology Vision 2015, Accenture discovered that 44 percent of insurers estimate that the volume of data managed by their organisation has grown by 50 percent or more over the past year.

As more decisions are being made by software—and many more decisions can be entrusted to machines—software takes on a greater decision-making role.  In turn, software must become smarter, too. Without this level of software savviness, no insurer can consider itself truly data-driven and intelligent. Indeed, at least two-thirds of respondents in the Accenture research indicate their organisation is using or experimenting with intelligent technologies. Automation is only the beginning; the truly intelligent enterprise will unlock many more opportunities and open up the potential to for the business to gain agility.

Agility is one of three core benefits of the Accenture Duck Creek Suite—which offers business-driven agility, analytic-driven decisions and customer-driven service.  Being fast and first in the market is vital to compete and win, but won’t be achieved if your enterprise and core administration systems aren’t able to react and adapt to changing customer demands. All the intelligence in the world is worth nothing if you are burdened by a legacy estate.

Read more in the report “Digital Insurance Era: Stretch your boundaries” and access two plans to becoming an intelligent insurer; the 100-day and one-year plans show how your insurance business can permeate software intelligence throughout the enterprise.

Interested in this topic? Contact me today jonathan.e.rusby@accenture.com.

[1] Source: “Digital Broker: Exclusive Q&A with Google expert”, Insurance Age, May 2015

[2] Source: “First Wal-Mart, now IKEA Insurance?” Insurance Business, October 2014

[3] Source: Celent report, “A Scenario: The End of Auto Insurance, What Happens When There Are (Almost) No Accidents,” May 2012

[4] Source: “Being digital: Fast-forward to the right digital strategy” Accenture 2015

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