I’d like to wrap up my look at the Accenture Insurance Technology Vision for 2015 by delving into how big data and software intelligence will change the game for Asian insurers. In earlier posts, I’ve looked at how new digital interfaces are extending insurers’ reach into their customer base as well as how the industry is creating new ecosystems of value.
But in the background, it’s the rich data enabled by these trends that will power an industry where service is personalized and real-time, measured by outcome and delivered through powerful digital ecosystems. Most insurers are still tied to a business model which is about pooling and underwriting risk as well generating gross premium income.
This model will come under threat in the future as big data, digital channels, and artificial intelligence enable the direct and accurate pricing of risk per usage or individual. Much of this will be powered by the latest gains in software intelligence, paired with an influx of big data from digital touchpoints.
Consider, for example, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire’s collaboration with Docomo Healthcare to develop a service called “How My Body Feels”. The service from the two Japanese companies is designed to promote mental and physical wellness of its young, female users.
The product uses mobile technology to monitor the user’s health and uses various data to make suggestions concerning healthy lifestyle options. Docomo Healthcare’s server analyzes the data sent from smartphones. If the system detects any early signs of women’s diseases, it urges the user to see a doctor, with the insurer paying towards the consultation. The emphasis shifts from paying for treatment to preventing illness.
This is just the beginning. Until now, increasingly capable software has been geared to help employees make better and faster decisions. But most insurers in Asia-Pacific are struggling to fully utilize their data—they wrestle not only with the volume of data now available to them, but also with the many complexities of identifying, capturing, categorizing, analyzing, and sharing it throughout the data supply chain.
Advances in processing power, data science, and cognitive technology—collectively, software intelligence—could be the answer to this challenge. Used wisely and carefully, the power of software intelligence can give companies the operational excellence and innovative edge they need—because machines have the speed and scale, and now the intelligence, to make decisions that will have a real impact on the business.
Whether for managing risk, reducing fraudulent claims or driving customer retention and acquisition, carriers will be able to exploit actionable insights from data and drive better business outcomes.
More and more decisions will be made by software—helping insurers drive profitability, market differentiation and better customer relationships. Insurers will start by automating many of the tedious manual processes that inhibit agility as they pursue the data-driven enterprise. And once achieved, they will realize it is just the beginning— the truly intelligent enterprise will unlock many more opportunities to answer questions that were once unanswerable.