Last week we discussed the first two trends identified by our Technology Vision for Insurance study: how the Internet of Me is changing consumer expectations, and the emergence of a new business model that shifts the focus from selling things to delivering results. Today we’ll look at the three remaining trends.

The first of these is The Platform (R)evolution. The digital industry platform has not only become a prominent feature of today’s business world. More than that, platforms—and the ecosystems they invariably enable—are fueling the next wave of breakthrough innovation and disruptive growth.

There are many examples of successful platforms in the insurance industry, where data and applications are integrated with digital business partners to create new business models. But I like the Vitality platform developed by the South African multiline insurer Discovery. Its model, together with its more than 50 ecosystem partners, quickly won the carrier dominance of the local market, and today some of the biggest insurers in China, Europe and the U.S. are looking to roll it out in their own markets.

The next trend is The Intelligent Enterprise. Much of the effort that went into data, analytics and software development over the past few decades was to help employees and executives make better decisions more quickly. But recently, the influx of big data—together with advances in processing power, data science and cognitive technology—have resulted in a huge improvement in software intelligence. The result is that machines are now able to make rapid, better-informed decisions on a massive scale. This has tremendous implications for operational efficiency, and is likely to accelerate innovation throughout the enterprise.

Read the report.
Read the report.

Finally there’s The Workforce Reimagined. Insurers have already seen the benefits of digital in the workplace, whether it be in the form of claims automation, collaboration systems that enable a remote expert advisor to help close the sale, or social media tools that allow agents to find and qualify leads. Now, the push to go digital is amplifying the need for humans and machines to do more, together.

We’re seeing advances in things like natural interfaces, wearable devices and smart machines. These are all creating new opportunities for carriers to empower their workers through technology—in fact, to develop re-imagined, collaborative workforces that consist of people and machines working side by side in collaboration. The impact on productivity and employee satisfaction will be immense when insurers realize that humans and machines, on their own, are not the solution. It’s the blend of people and technology that will drive business in the decades to come.

Next time I’ll discuss how transformation of the insurance workforce can be achieved on both a short- and longer-term basis.

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