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Six major tech trends will shape the future of insurance

Naoyuki Shibata | May 22, 2014
Accenture outlines the trends insurers need to embrace if they want to stay ahead of the competition

The next wave of software innovation allows insurers to deploy lighter, simpler, more modular and analytics-enabled apps to end-users within their organisations, as well as to their customers and business partners. 

Trend 6:  Architecting resilience

In the digital era, businesses are expected to support the nonstop demands that their employees and stakeholders place on business processes, services and systems.  Today's IT leaders must ensure that their systems - and, to some extent, those of their key business partners - are designed for resilience against failure rather than designed to spec. 

With insurers needing to gather and operationalise big data; interact with customers 24 hours a day through a range of digital channels; and provide uninterrupted service to their partner ecosystems, business continuity and systems availability matter more now than ever before.  Insurers need to consider how they will architect their IT infrastructures to support nonstop business processes, services and applications. 

More business processes are interconnected and automated across the insurance value chain, multiplying the potential points of failure.  CIOs must employ a business-driven strategy to manage risk across the enterprise, understanding which assets are critical and then prioritising resiliency, active analytics and defense measures accordingly. 

Some of these technology trends are still in their early stages, but forward-looking insurers are examining their implications.  Most insurers have adopted technologies such as digital distribution channels, but they have grafted their digital strategies onto legacy systems, business processes and business models.  Industry leaders now have to define where their companies stand in the digital world. 

This may mean redefining their relationships with their customers, partners, and the internet community at large; erasing organisational barriers blocking collaboration and data sharing; and lowering the barriers barring their entry into other industries with high growth potential.  Insurers lacking the flexibility and imagination to re-invent themselves may lose market share and competitive advantage to more agile and innovative players.

Naoyuki Shibata is a managing director and the Asia-Pacific insurance lead for Accenture.

 

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