A new “We Economy” is bringing profound change to the insurance industry. In this post we offer five trends creating a competitive advantage for digital leaders and causing insurers to stretch their business beyond the boundaries of the enterprise.

1. Connecting with customers

Connected devices are rapidly transitioning from being curiosities to supporting new insurance products and services. A growing number of carriers are using wearables (31 percent), connected TVs (40 percent), connected cars (38 percent), kiosks or interactive displays (37 percent) and other smart devices (32 percent) to engage with their customers.

In this emerging interconnected environment, insurers have the customer insight (from big data analytics) and the customer interfaces they need to build tailored products and services and to more accurately price risk for individuals, specific businesses and their contexts.

2. Focusing on outcomes

The proliferation of intelligent hardware, sensors and devices in customers’ businesses, homes and vehicles is making it easier for carriers to be explicit about the outcomes they sell. Eighty-three percent of insurers believe it will shift the industry from selling products and services to outcomes.

To take advantage of these new capabilities, insurers need to start by re-evaluating their customers’ desired outcomes. They must establish feedback loops wherever their customers seek value. Then, they need to incorporate the resulting insights into their business processes and product management systems.

3. Taking the lead from tech

Platform-based businesses, like Google and Salesforce.com, have dramatically transformed their industries. But 73 percent of insurers are of the opinion that the next generation of platforms will be led not by technology companies, but by industry leaders and players.

Insurers must quickly determine which platforms and ecosystems will give their organizations a competitive advantage. Should they create their own platform ecosystems, partner in the development of platform ecosystems, or join one or more established ecosystems?

4. Investing in intelligence

Read the report.
Read the report.

Intelligent technology is likely to be widely adopted by insurance carriers in the next two years. The most commonplace are expected to be rule-based algorithms (75 percent of executives foresee industry-wide adoption), machine learning (70 percent), predictive analytics (77 percent) and intelligent agents (69 percent).

Used wisely and carefully, the power of software intelligence can give insurers 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.

5. Teaming workers and machines

As machines become more intelligent, insurers will recognize the benefits of creating workforces consisting of people and machines operating side by side in close collaboration. Seventy-six percent of executives agree that this is a model for success.

Building a blended workforce will take time, but insurers can begin now by piloting prioritized solutions, and dividing and distributing tasks that play to your workforce’s strengths—machines for precision, scale, and consistency and humans for creativity, contextual decisions and complex communication.

To learn more, register to download the  Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2015


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