In recent years, insurers have introduced significant process automation and embraced technology changes in an effort to remain competitive in a challenging operating environment. They have gained efficiencies through self-service, automated validation rules and straight-through processing. However, I think there’s still a lot of potential for automation to increase efficiency, reduce costs, improve quality and enrich experiences with our colleagues and customers.
Here are just a few of the things I see coming down the pipeline:
Robotic process automation
Back office functions are often the domain of repetitive, time intensive, manual processes and procedures. In recent years, these types of functions have been completed by offshore resources, a strategy that has worked well in the short term.
However, looking forward, robotic automation software platforms, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) developed by Blue Prism can not only handle these back office tasks, offering immediate savings on the costs of offshore resources, but also enable business users to build, validate and execute new business process automations across an enterprise environment, responding rapidly to changing regulations and business requirements.
Desktop automation and analytics
When it comes to contact centres, brick and mortar stores, and other agent interactions, insurers face substantial pressures to not only cut costs and improve productivity, but also to provide more personalised services to customers. The OpenSpan Desktop Automation and Desktop Analytics tools provide users with simpler user interfaces, automated manual tasks, alerts and notifications, and on-screen , context/process guidance during critical processes.
These types of applications can provide numerous benefits for insurers, from reducing errors, enabling insurers to manage risk and regulatory compliance, increasing operational efficiency and improving agent productivity.
Mobile self-service and interactive voice response (IVR)
A third technology that offers insurers a solution for reducing call volume is Jacada Visual IVR. Customers have found traditional IVR systems confusing, even annoying with their endless menu trees, poor voice recognition and limited ability to collect information. But Jacada’s visual IVR gives customers a way to use touch screen devices to respond to options—if they change their mind, they can easily going back and forth to choose different options, and they can enter complex data if required to.
These and other similar technologies are going to mean significant changes for the insurance workforce and the industry as a whole. In some cases, these technologies will replace people, and in others they will require the hiring of talent with new skills, and so I think the workforce will look quite different than it does today.
In my next post, I’ll take a closer look at a project that Accenture is collaborating on with IPsoft to enhance the cognitive automation of IT services delivery.