Many insurers have undertaken significant systems upgrades and/or replacements to bring their companies into the digital age. The rapid adoption of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) technologies has pushed insurers to get their systems ready for many new functions, from contacting customers via Twitter feeds to offering mobile apps that provide quotes and claims updates.

Just as insurers were getting more comfortable with SMAC, however, new and even more disruptive technologies are emerging, and quickly. Many fall under the umbrella of the Internet of Things, which encompasses both the connected car and the connected home. In personal lines, data streams in, not only from in-car telematics devices, but from home sensors, monitors, and even wearable devices. The Industrial Internet of Things is changing the way commercial insurers think about underwriting as they move to incorporate data from sensors, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or drones), surveillance cameras and other sources into their rating and pricing models.

As these new connected technologies proliferate, the challenge for leadership and IT is to make sure that systems can handle these new data inflows and that the analytics are in place to make the right decisions based on this information. The task is especially difficult for companies using monolithic, purpose-built systems; modular solutions can be adapted more quickly as new data sources emerge.

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