Insurers are just starting to scratch the surface of what is possible when intelligent machines take over certain tasks and complement others. While CEOs and their leadership teams understand the exciting opportunities that lie ahead, managers in insurance do not recognize the full spectrum of skills needed in the age of intelligent machines.

A study of the impact of cognitive computing in management by the Accenture Institute for High Performance and Accenture Strategy surveyed first-line, middle-level and top-level managers in insurance. It found that managers have an incomplete understanding of what they will need to thrive in a partnership with intelligent machines.

According to the survey, 35 percent of insurance managers believe data analysis and interpretation are among the top three skills needed to thrive in a partnership with intelligent machines.

35% of insurance managers believe data analysis and interpretation are among the top three skills needed to thrive in a partnership with intelligent machines.

Another 36 percent of those surveyed identified strategy development as one of the top three skills needed to thrive in a partnership with intelligent machines.

36% of insurance managers believe strategy development is one of the top three skills needed to thrive in a partnership with intelligent machines.

A number of insurance managers (39 percent) recognize the need for digital and technology skills in order to thrive in the age of cognitive computing. And that’s important, because those are, in fact, skills they’ll need to manage business complexity and growth.

39% of insurance managers believe digital and technology skills are among the top three skills needed to thrive in a partnership with intelligent machines.

Managers in insurance believe the greatest value of intelligent machines lies in machines’ abilities to augment, not automate, their work. Of 11 core management tasks, they deem only one—monitoring and reporting performance—to be a serious candidate for automation.

The good news for leaders is that opportunities abound. Augmentation can take many forms. Some managers in insurance will use intelligent machines to work smarter and faster. Intelligent machines could help by taking over routine and time-consuming tasks such as management and financial reporting, allowing managers to spend more time on strategic planning or the development of new products and services.

The potential for cognitive computing to elevate managerial performance is exciting—but relatively unknown. Given how recently intelligent machines have entered the scene, there is no well-worn path to follow. But that should not stop a cognitive computing rollout in its tracks.

More than simply identifying the right smart technologies for their business, CEOs and leaders in the insurance industry must inspire their managers to embrace new ways of working. They need to educate managers about the skills needed in the age of intelligent machines, in order to unearth innovative ways to tap this new and groundbreaking potential.

Learn more, view the “Managers and Machines, Unite!” Insurance Infographic or read the cross-industry report.

“Managers and Machines, Unite!” Insurance Infographic

Learn how intelligent machines are poised to dramatically shift management roles and recast the workforce of the future.

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