Y Robot? | KPMG | ZA

Y Robot? Insurance on demand, virtual agents and telematics

Y Robot?

Today’s leading financial services companies are operating in a new and more complex environment; one where the fundamental definition of how customers experience and interact with an insurer is being challenged and redefined.

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We have clearly entered “The Digital revolution” and the way we work needs to change dramatically.

Today’s leading financial services companies are operating in a new and more complex environment; one where the fundamental definition of how customers experience and interact with an insurer is being challenged and redefined. This is further complicated by millennials’ dramatically different buying patterns, alternate channels and changing expectations for consumer
and digital experiences. This new consumer driven / customer centric business model is one that many insurers recognise and are striving to adopt in order to win and retain customers.

With disruptors entering the market, “time” now plays a key role in the insurance business. Not only when writing business, but across the value chain.  More lean business models, the ability to integrate alternate channels and “smart” technologies such as telematics and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are placing immense pressure on many established insurers.

On a day-to-day basis companies are worried about performance, cost, security and data breaches. Many insurance companies are simultaneously dealing with legacy IT issues and data challenges whilst exploring competitive levers with newer technologies and digital services to meet changing consumer needs and securing their future. In a recent global technology risk publication, the Tech Risk Radar, “Inability to deploy and exploite merging technology” was cited as the highest risk factor for insurance companies globally.

We see leading innovations such as driverless cars, 3D printing and Blockchain driving a change in business models and this will only accelerate in pace as we grow to virtual reality, Artificial Intelligence (‘AI”) and a more digital customer. A key challenge for the market is the misalignment between front office and back office transformation, and in many regards, back office processes and systems are not designed to support the innovation pace today, proving more challenging as organisations strive to shift their front office into increased digital experience.

Bring in the robots

Robotic Process Automation (RPA), also referred to as digital labour, is an emerging technology, aimed at improving operational efficiency for repetitive processes. RPA involves deployment of software tools to replicate human actions for repetitive and manual tasks and improve business processes. It is lightweight, quick to deploy and does not involve significant alteration to existing IT infrastructure.

Whilst automation is not a new concept to insurance, the challenge has been in applying automation consistently across functions in end to end processes. The lightweight nature of RPA and lead time to deployment make it an attractive investment, and many companies have already made significant investments in exploring this. RPA currently operates on a continuum of basic automation through to cognitive machinelearning solutions, as organisations work towards AI.

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