Whether or not you like the idea of everyday robots as in movies such as “The Terminator” or “Robocop,” there could be a similar (but far less destructive) artificial intelligence solution coming to your business soon. In fact according to a recent survey from Accenture Strategy, 81 percent of European employees say digital technologies, such as robots, will transform the way they work in the next three years and 61 percent express concerns that a robot will take over their job.
Being a digital business means humans and machines need to do more, together. Advances in natural interfaces, wearable devices, and smart machines will present new opportunities for insurance companies to empower their workers through technology. The Accenture Technology Vision 2015 notes how a study, conducted by the Oxford Martin Programme, shows that many traditional job functions in insurance carriers are among the 50 roles in the United States that are most at risk from automation in the next few years. Among them are telemarketing, underwriting, claims and policy processing, claims adjustment and investigation, and damage assessment.
Jobs will change as machines augment the workforce. So insurers can expect to use fewer people to handle routine processing tasks—even using intelligent machines at offshore centers to completely automate certain tasks—and engaging a new workforce of creative thinkers and strategists. By creating a positive cycle of collaboration between humans and machines, insurers can drastically improve the outputs of both and embrace the digital age with a reimagined workforce— 74 percent of insurers say companies will need to focus on training their machines as much as their people in the next three years.
There are also significant implications for the way insurers underwrite risks and earn income. The basis of risk will move from the human being to the machine in auto insurance, for example, as semi-autonomous and autonomous cars start to become a commercial reality. Take the case of United Services Automobile Association (USAA) that claims to be the first insurer to seek the Federal Aviation Administration’s permission to use drones. It hopes that it will be able to assess claims faster and more accurately in the immediate wake of a catastrophe.
The Accenture Duck Creek software is primed and ready to ease the transition to the augmented workforce. In the war for talent, skilled digitally savvy workers will be more easily attracted and retained with software solutions that are easily configurable and act as an enabler to business transformation. Talented individuals will thrive when they can recommend and shape product enhancements that can then easily and flexibly be realized and released into the market. Such agile software solutions put the business firmly back in control of innovation and growth.
Read more in the report “Digital Insurance Era: Stretch your boundaries” and access two plans to reimagine your workforce; the 100-day and one-year plans show how your insurance business can manage collaboration between humans and machines.
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 Source: Accenture Strategy European Worker Research 2015, http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/insight-being-digital.aspx
 “USAA wants to use drone technology to expedite insurance claim processes,” San Antonio Business Journal, October 2, 2014. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2014/10/02/usaa-wants-to-use-drone-technology-to-assess.html