Industry Insight: 4 Global Insurance Trends in Digital, Data, Content Services and Security
Charlie Hanna | March 08, 2018
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of hosting Mark Breading, partner at Strategy Meets Action, at our headquarters in Westlake to discuss some of the biggest trends affecting the insurance industry. During our Facebook Live conversation, we talked about the state of the InsurTech movement, digital transformation, data management, content services and security – and different approaches to help insurers better understand and address the challenges they face in these areas.
Before we dive into these categories, however, it’s important to understand the evolution behind the meaning of ‘digital’ to insurers. Embracing digitization can and has meant many different things to different people.
According to SMA research, more insurers have reported embracing digitization strategies in order to best serve their customers. Previously insurers thought about digital more for the customer journey rather than internal processes.
However, Mark said it best when he stated “You can’t be digital to the outside world unless you’re digital within the four walls of your company.” Insurers need to adopt a comprehensive strategy across the entire enterprise to make everything, data, interactions and processes, as digital as possible.
Four key trends propelling the InsurTech movement:
- Digital transformation: Now that we have a better understanding of being digital in all endeavors, we can jump into the digital transformation movement and how it’s been a catalyst for insurance innovation. To date, SMA has tracked more than 1,200 InsurTech start-ups. While not all of these organizations may stick around, they are reshaping the industry. Although not every start-up will have a solution that fits your needs, Mark advises insurers to embrace digital transformation in a strategic way – by looking into technology in the context of your business strategy, then aligning those technologies accordingly.
- Data management: Insurers are looking at the data they gather in a more granular way than ever before. They’re finding it’s important to manage and expose that data as part of their transformation processes. In our increasingly mobile and connected world, insurers are gathering both structured and unstructured data generated from clients, and looking for the best way to manage that information. To manage new types of data appropriately, start by thinking of the value that data holds, and what you need within your specific claims or underwriting processes. But don’t just focus on the data you gather today. Envision what new data will be available and the right way to make it accessible and usable within your business.
- Content services: Although content services is a newer term, many insurers are familiar with the underpinning functionality: capture, workflow and records management. As a more modern term for enterprise content management (ECM), content services help insurers access information and orchestrate the right processes utilizing that information. Many insurance organizations are moving away from selecting large monolithic technology systems and choosing more fine-grain solutions that are rapid to deploy and make a big impact. Content services platforms fit this trend and help better manage content, processes and cases in an efficient and effective way.
- Security: Security has become an overarching theme in many industries but especially within the insurance market, which sees more than 10,000 regulatory changes a year. Though it’s been a long pain point for insurance organizations, it’s at the forefront of executives’ minds because of the high-visibility around breaches. Mark guides insurers to look at the external regulations, as well as internal standards to properly manage information. Because there are heavy implications for managing personal information, insurers need to ensure the security around that information is properly protected.
It’s always a pleasure to connect with industry experts like Mark, to discuss trends affecting the industry and how technology is helping insurers overcome current challenges. While the InsurTech movement continues to boom, we expect to see some major changes continue to shift the industry – but themes like digital transformation, data management, content services and security will remain topical through the evolution.
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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
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