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Technology alone won’t do it



Technology is the current buzzword across industries attempting to redefine themselves to meet the demands of a more futuristic client base. The insurance industry is not exempt from this need to serve tomorrow’s consumer today. While there are numerous add-ons to a sound technology strategy and having foresight, technology alone is not the sole answer to all industry problems.

Take for example the drive to go paperless. The insurance industry has been viewed as a paper-heavy industry for years, however, most organisations are going paperless as the processes are becoming more and more automated and highly integrated.

One however needs warm bodies to initiate a move to a paperless and more technology-driven data capturing systems. There is indeed an added benefit that comes with technology, and it goes beyond simply going paperless, it’s about delivering services faster to the end consumer which inevitably sees business processes re-engineered and improved. Paperless also allows insurance companies to issue a policy online with the use of a good underwriting engine.

One cannot negate the fact that these improvements have a positive impact all around. Insurers are increasing their revenue and creating new revenue streams while customers are getting a better service, which benefits everyone concerned. With improved data analytics, new benefits are being realised daily.

However, while advancements in technology have started to define business, they do not hold all the answers. For example, artificial intelligence learns from people and from there it evolves. This means a combination of humans and machines or technology is necessary for business to improve. They are interdependent, one cannot reach the desired impact without the other. Going digital or pushing for technology-first interactions can only thrive with a well-equipped personnel that possesses the relevant skills.

There is a lot of hype in the market currently about emerging technologies like Blockchain, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence, but the caution is that companies need to have sound business strategy and clear objectives to benefit from these technologies. Companies also need to be aware of the cost benefit factor, some initiatives will yield no value to the organisation in their first two years, therefore it is important to make sound decisions at Business Executive and Board level.

It serves no good to jump onto the hype without any direction. One needs to know and understand the functions of these technologies and how, if at all, they serve the interests of their organisation and industries.

Nothing beats doing your homework first — a job most fit for humans – before embarking on a technology binge.