In my previous post, I looked at two trends identified in this year’s Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance report—intelligent automation and a liquid workforce. In this post, we’ll look at the remaining three trends.

Trend 3: Platform economy

Whether the insurer “owns” a platform ecosystem or is plugging into another company’s, what matters is having a platform strategy and the business know-how to exploit it. How to approach platform-based ecosystems may vary in different markets and for different kinds of insurance. But progress must start from a clear understanding of those parts of the business that are prime for platform business models, and those that are most vulnerable to unforeseen attacks from other platforms.

Whichever approach they choose, insurers need to consider these key takeaways:

  • Driven by the new rules of business, platform business models will bring profound disruptive change to insurance.
  • Like Silicon Valley’s giants of platform capitalism, insurers need to invest in platforms as a long-term play.
  • While tech and born-digital organizations have been dominating the digital economy, traditional insurers need to be thinking deeply about their platform strategies.
  • The strategic use of technologies to create platform business models is driving unprecedented growth opportunities in the rapidly expanding digital economy.

Trend 4: Predictable disruption

The next set of disruptive trends—including the Internet of Things, the sharing economy, platforms and the rise of the blockchain—all promise to change the world of insurance profoundly in the years to come. Whether it’s the disruption of connected cars, the connected home, smart cities, digital health or other technological breakthroughs, insurers are well placed to predict ecosystem trajectories and evolve from simply providing cover to becoming valued partners that help their customers monitor, mitigate and avoid risk.

Key things insurers should note about this trend:

  • Digital ecosystems are becoming the foundation for the next wave of disruption in insurance.
  • Industry boundaries are already blurring, shifting market power to newcomers.
  • Insurers can gain visibility into the disruptive forces of ecosystems and take action now by developing strategies to forge new roles and new paths.

Trend 5: Digital trust

The new data trust and data ethics landscape poses as much opportunity for insurers as it does risk. Partnering with technology companies or start-ups, insurers could wrap cyber-insurance products into wider data protection products and services for commercial customers and ecosystem partners. In so doing, they would support the next waves of digital innovation while creating new revenue streams.

Key takeaways:

  • Ethics and security must be primary considerations for any insurer’s digital transformation.
  • An insurer’s exposure to risk scales in proportion to its digital business operations and connected product and service offerings.
  • To protect against downside risk, insurers must foster strong ethical decisions, effectively use security to protect against external threats, and build trusting relationships with ecosystem stakeholders.
  • In procuring new technologies, security and ethics must be key evaluation criteria.
  • Insurers have a vital role to play in helping their ecosystem partners and commercial customers manage data and security risks in a connected world.

In my final post in this Technology Vision series, I’ll talk about the overarching changes technology is bringing to the insurance industry.

In the meantime, to learn more, register to download the Technology Vision for Insurance 2016  full report.

TECHNOLOGY VISION FOR INSURANCE 2016 REPORT

Learn more about this year's insurance trends in the Technology Vision for Insurance 2016 which takes a look at the primacy of people in the digital age.

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