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Are we really on the road to data-driven insurance solutions?

Published: December 3rd, 2020 By: IT World Canada

Equinix

James Maudslay
Global Head, Insurance
Equinix

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that the world is going – indeed, has gone – digital. Whether we’re renting a car, buying a book, ordering lunch, or making an insurance claim, chances are there’s an app involved. And consumers have become accustomed to pointing and clicking or tapping their way to virtually any service.

Those consumers increasingly expect their business interactions to be equally user-friendly. A January 2020 report by the Swiss Re Institute, Data-driven insurance, ready for the next frontier? reveals that the insurance industry is not immune to this trend. At every step of the insurance lifecycle, digital experiences can make the difference between success and failure. Said Jonathan Anchen, head of research and data support at Swiss Re Institute, “Emphasis on frictionless customer experience is shaping the way people expect to interact in the digital sphere.”

The digital advantage

A 2019 survey by Accenture underlined this need for the industry to evolve. The report’s authors noted, “It is an age where digital technology is a strategic priority for every insurance business, as the industry strives to catch up with consumer expectations and the pace of digital transformation in other sectors. Given their collective prioritization of digital technology, every insurance company will eventually converge on the same turning point—one where digital-era technology, which began as a differentiating advantage, is something expected from every business.”

The report found, for example, that 82 per cent of insurers say consumer digital demographic information is expanding the number of ways their organizations deliver products and services to customers.

The next wave

At the same time, it noted that only 26 per cent of insurance executives know for sure that their ecosystem partners are working as diligently as they are to be compliant and resilient in the security realm, and 88 per cent agreed that to be truly resilient, organizations must rethink their approach to security in a way that defends both themselves and their ecosystems. Furthermore, 90 per cent agreed that the integration of customization and real-time delivery is the next big wave of competitive advantage.

However, to gain that advantage organizations need to rethink their connectivity strategies, and that process has been further complicated by COVID-19 and its attendant work from home requirements. Everything must be linked to ensure efficient, expedited processing at every step, be it internal to the organization, with its service providers and trading partners, or at the customer. And those links must be secure, compliant with regulations, and highly reliable.

Build in agility

At the same time, beginning to venture to the digital edge need not break the bank. Organizations can opt to pay for usage on platforms such as the globally connected Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric that is used by industries such as financial institutions rather than making long-term physical expenditure commitments.

As the Accenture report points out, “Because the future is becoming less predictable every day, digital insurers build agility into everything they do. Disruption is inevitable; insurers must decide whether they will be among the disruptors or one of their casualties.”