Insurers need to rethink their approach to innovation. The speed of change in technology, the changing competitive landscape, rising customer expectations and the new reality of a permanent hybrid workforce have challenged insurers across all industries. Long-term projects must now move to shorter, more focused initiatives that will allow them to remain resilient by adapting to change more quickly, whether the change is driven by forces beyond their control, such as a pandemic, or driven by internal forces to launch new products or sales channels.
And for management, the decision to green-light an intelligent automation project can be fraught, especially when their reputation and career may depend on its success. Many have learned the hard way that deployment does not equal success; it’s all about the bottom line.
Yet, as difficult as it is for organizations to innovate, forward-thinking insurers are doing just that; they are transforming their core principles to improve their business processes and deliver value in the ways that matter most—increasing productivity, improving efficiency, and ultimately delivering better, faster solutions to customers, ultimately positively impacting their growth and bottom line .
What are insurance innovators doing differently?
True innovation is complex company-wide work that requires a set of best-in-class tools. Whether an insurance company is integrating new technologies or implementing a new core system, they need to rethink how their organizations work with their teams and customers interacting in a hybrid business environment. The goal should be to encourage repetitive change that evolves in the same way as business conditions and needs.
However, innovation is difficult even for well-established organizations and there are limits and barriers. Some of them are related to technology, but many of the barriers are related to inherited culture and changing groupthink. This requires having more than one conversation and memo for the entire company. This requires a mandate from management to conduct repeated training sessions and consider employee feedback.
Not surprisingly, forward-thinking insurers are using artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, and other intelligent automation technologies to achieve their business goals—mainly to make their policy and claims processes more efficient and resilient, as well as evaluating them with an approach that more data-driven. .
Here are four ways insurers can think like innovators:
AI and RPA are so powerful because they can be used in a truly targeted way. The most successful deployments are those that are targeted to specific business needs and have some measure of what could be considered a successful ROI.
The future opportunity is to be able to use these and other technologies, such as document mining and process mining, to solve specific tasks, such as transforming claims-related documents so that agents can access relevant data more quickly and reach specific business results compared to traditional insurance. chain. These technologies allow insurers to finally use data as part of the decision-making process at critical points in the policy and claims life cycles.
Today, we are only seeing the beginning of how these technologies will help insurers.
One of the lessons I’ve learned is that when projects fail, it’s not because the technology doesn’t work. Most often, this happens because organizations choose the wrong aspect of a process to automate, simply because they didn’t understand their processes in the first place. Or they didn’t clearly define the business results they were aiming to achieve. A recent survey commissioned by ABBYY found that one of the top reasons for automation failures was “vague goals” (43%) and too hasty deployment (21%), and automating the wrong technology (7%). A more rigorous, data-driven approach is needed to evaluate how a business operates, including its people, the technology, and the processes in which they operate.
Internal collaboration and experimentation no longer has to take years to set up even in large insurance companies with a strong culture. The momentary transition to remote work and virtual customer experiences that began with the pandemic has turned into a place where there is an understanding that insurers need to accelerate digital adoption and improve virtual operations.
Some companies are setting up innovation labs where small teams can work on projects without the pressures and constraints of a day-to-day business environment. They create new ways of working that can be expanded and implemented in a larger organization. This approach allows them to explore the different areas of business in the enterprise and find out which technologies will have the greatest impact on the business.
This incubator approach can also help identify possible organizational changes that could facilitate collaboration. Insurers should encourage peers to share ideas and knowledge freely, encouraging that lessons learned from both successes and failures be part of the ongoing process improvement discussion. Most importantly, recognize innovative efforts, even if they fail.
New approaches to improve your organization do not mean another replacement project. Using intelligent process automation helps an organization determine what success looks like before a project starts. And that’s because all innovative technology projects have potential business value—it just depends on your business goals.
The most successful insurers will be those who find ways to innovate in their culture and empower their teams—both individually and collectively—to challenge the way things have always been done, and to encourage, support, and reward innovative behaviors across the insurance company. . company.