Insurance Newsletter: May 2018
I’m sure that many of you would have seen the recent headlines from Google’s I/O developer conference where it showed off its Duplex bot booking a hair appointment. It never ceases to amaze me just how rapidly technology in AI and voice is advancing. As Donald Lightobserved in his blog at the start of this month, maybe now is the time for insurers to be looking more seriously looking at developing a strategy for voice?
Clearly, there are both operational advantages and ones of customer convenience to such innovations in developing a strategy for voice. There are also a few hurdles to overcome (as we explored last year) – such as customer acceptance and tackling the overall complexity of insurance. That said, investing time now in tracking and understanding how this technology may develop feels like it ought not to be a wasted effort. Personally, I’m convinced that by the time my first child finishes university (around ~2024’ish), some of these hurdles will have been addressed and the work environment will become a very different place as a result – if not a little noisier (with keyboard taps being replaced by barked instructions to machines).
Although comprehensive voice strategies are perhaps a less common component of an insurer’s digital strategy today, opportunities still exist to improve the customer experience through the application of more conventional tried-and-tested self-service techniques, while also making operational efficiencies.
In Mike Fitzgerald’s latest report, he provides a fresh update on the state of the industry on its digital transformation journey as we understand it today. Progress is being made by an ever-growing percentage of insurers (compared to when we last dug deep into this topic), with the focus of their programs targeted mainly towards improving the customer/channel experience and making better use of data, while also transforming operations in distribution, claims and underwriting.
I guess that it should come as no surprise that insurers who view digital as a critical part of their business strategy see themselves as being further ahead in the planning and execution of their digital initiatives than their peers. It will be interesting to see how much of this internal assessment of progress translates into customer feedback and firm performance over time – an area of particular interest for us as we seek to improve understanding of the relationship between technology investment and business value.
Last month, I announced the beta launch of our first digital service, VendorMatch, for a limited subset of capital markets software solutions. This month, I’m pleased to announce that we have begun the roll-out to insurance. We are still at a very early age in its development and much of our energy is being directed towards helping vendors to list their insurance solutions today. However, as the year progresses, our intention is to develop this service as a utility for insurers to scope out and discover what commercial innovative technology solutions exist that may help in their digital journeys. While we build the service, I’d encourage you to go in and have a play with it when you have time. We’re keen to get your feedback about what you like and what needs to be changed to make it better (just click here to let us know).
Finally, I’m excited to announce that we have added a new Analyst to the team.Zao Wujoins us from the consulting practice of Oliver Wyman and will be based out of Hong Kong. His initial focus will be directed towards tracking the innovations coming out of China and across South East Asia. Please join me in welcoming him to the team. Also, in the coming months, expect to hear more directly from him.
Senior Vice President
Life Insurance, Property & Casualty Insurance
Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America