Other parts of this series:
Four steps to innovation
Insurance is shifting into a new era in which intelligent automation tools drive new value from analytics and data helps CFOs define the tactical and strategic goals for their businesses. In our recent survey, “The CFO Reimagined: from driving value to building the digital enterprise,” insurers scored among the top three for adopting artificial intelligence in the finance function.They also expressed a greater readiness to use machine learning on data sets in order to facilitate real-time data analysis.
As CFOs move to an innovative, dynamic approach to data analysis, they need to embrace a new way of thinking and working. If executives prioritize the following points, they will be well equipped to thrive in the digital age.
- Motivate the business case for emerging technologies.
CFOs understand the direct impact of technology and its return on investment for all departments. If they can communicate its benefits with insight and understanding, they can get the buy-in required to activate these technologies at scale. If the business is not ready for widespread innovation, the CFO can still define a growth path that leads toward business-enhancing technologies in the future.
- Be bold and agile in response to new technologies
While many insurance businesses are accelerating their adoption of new technologies in order to deliver the customer experiences and efficiencies that insurtech firms can, some are reluctant to move beyond small-scale applications. CFOs are in the perfect position to approach high-impact new technologies from an informed perspective, allowing the business to experiment and adapt quickly while being mindful of the risks.
- Collaboration is key
CFOs are natural stewards of data within insurance organizations. However, this can only be achieved with the cooperation of all functions in the business, the formation of more holistic ecosystems and the purchase of third-party data. Collaboration is essential for deriving insights from a more complete data set, as it enables a clear connection between business leads and proper alignment with the business’s strategic direction.
- Respond smartly to the skills challenge.
While the executives we spoke to flagged a shortage of the required digital skills as a challenge, there are smart solutions that can be employed. Insurers could draw on external talent pools or consultants, and adopt AI. However, in order to build a sustainable workforce, CFOs need to consider how to attract a wider range of talent into the industry.
In conclusion, the future of insurance holds a multitude of new responsibilities and opportunities for CFOs. If they approach the future in a strategic and mindful manner, their businesses stand to enjoy significant benefits.