Intelligent automation will help insurers cope with the vast volumes of complex data that is being generated by the wave of new technologies and associated connected products and services of today. Insurers that become adept at deploying intelligent automation can gain a head start in the race for new digital markets.

Insurers should look to intelligent automation to help them master the deluge of data that’s going to be generated by an array of connected products and services. Neither human beings nor their current systems and processes can cope with the fast-rising volume and complexity of this information.

Sensors installed in connected cars, homes, workplaces and wearable devices, and linked to the Internet of Things (IoT), will produce colossal amounts of information that will need to be rapidly aggregated and acted upon. A good example of this is the immense volume of traffic data now being collected by the various drive-mapping and traffic systems that are tracking millions of cars’ driving patterns every day. What insights lie within this vast stream of data? This is not a surprise to the industry – our research shows that 45 percent of insurers believe the IoT will be a major driver of revenue in the next three years.

Moreover, progressive insurers that quickly deploy intelligent automation to gain strategic advantage will outpace rivals in the race to capture emerging digital markets. They’ll not only be more efficient and productive than many of their competitors but they’ll also be more flexible and innovative.

Intelligent automation brings together several technologies that have already begun to disrupt the insurance industry: artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (the automation of data analysis) and robotic process automation (RPA). When harnessed together they have the potential to dramatically accelerate this disruption. Our research shows that more than 80 percent of insurers expect automation systems incorporating AI to be embedded throughout their organizations in the next five years. Two key aspects of insurers’ businesses will be especially affected.

Machine learning: Insurers have long employed automated systems to process large volumes of data. Our research shows that well over a third of insurers have, in the past two years, cut costs by more than 15 percent by automating their systems and processes.

The machine learning component of intelligent automation, however, offers further substantial improvements. It not only handles much bigger volumes of data. It can also aggregate, sift, select and analyze large amounts of information far more quickly and accurately than earlier automation technologies. Furthermore, it can process many different types of data, including unstructured text, video images and natural language. In the end, machine learning allows insights to be derived from data in an automated way with less human intervention than before.

Decision-making: Successful insurers in the digital economy will need to be fast and agile. They’ll require constant, swift and decisive decision-making throughout their organizations. Intelligent automation will not only quickly source and aggregate the information that’s needed to make such decisions. It will also be able to take decisions by evaluating the information it’s gathered. Furthermore, intelligent automation solutions can learn from experience, and other knowledge sources, and improve the quality of their decision-making.

Intelligent automation will also provide invaluable support to insurers’ managers and knowledge workers. It will quickly source the information employees require to make effective decisions; prompt and advise them, so they make faster and more accurate choices; and also free them to address tasks where personal skills, such as judgement, creativity and empathy, are needed.

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how intelligent automation will disrupt one of the pivotal practices of the insurance industry – underwriting.

Until then, take a look at these links. I think you’ll find them worthwhile.

Robotics in insurance: A holistic approach to automation

The promise of artificial intelligence: Redefining management in the workforce of the future

Managers and machines, unite!

Technology Vision for Insurance 2016: People First

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