In the first part of this series, we talked about the s-curve of maturing technologies that insurers should consider before planning and acting and examined the first category: emerging technologies.

The next category on the s-curve covers the improving technologies, which insurers should consider adopting with the next two to five years. This category contains the greatest number of digital advancements affecting our industry.

Figure 1. Commercial broker technologies - the S-curve

The improving commercial broker technologies include the following:

  • Hyperscale computing is a distributed computing environment hosted across virtual servers;
  • The Internet of Things (IoT sensors and networks) includes connected devices such as Fitbit and Nest, which allow insurers to tailor products and offerings and incentivize customers;
  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is not a robot per se, but software that crunches large amounts of data quickly and accurately, and can use logic to make routine decisions;
  • Hybrid cloud and cloud security;
  • Advanced analytics;
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs) The API strategy enables data and content to be shared with business partners and customers, helping insurers move toward customer centricity;
  • New productivity platforms;
  • Big data that we can now collect and analyze from a wide range of sources to develop new insights. I wrote about how big data can help underwriters improve their hit ratio earlier this year;
  • Software as a service (Saas).

Many of these new technologies already have shown great promise in delivering potential value to the insurance industry. Those who explore and invest in them now will be ahead of the curve.

In the next part of this series, we will take a closer look at mature and aging technologies in the insurance industry, which are those that brokers either should have adopted by now or need to adopt quickly.

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