More insurers are exploring robotics process automation, artificial intelligence and business process automation every day, but the industry still has few use cases in production, according to a recent report from Capgemini, “Growth in the Machine: How financial services can move intelligent automation from a cost play to a growth strategy.”

The report, based on a survey of more than 1500 financial services executives globally, including more than 500 in the insurance industry, asserts that aggressive implementation of automation technologies could save the sector more than $500 billion, about half of which is taken into account by insurance companies. But there are still some significant barriers to implementation.

For example, four in 10 respondents said they do not have a process for identifying the business case for automation. About half added that tension between business units over ownership of the technology drags on implementation.

And there are technology-driven concerns as well: 46% cited a lack of data management strategy to feed technology, 47% said that privacy and security were too concerning to management and 48% reported that systems-integration issues were holding them back.

“Enterprise leaders need complete clarity on the strategic rationale for intelligent automation, driving it as a transformation program and tackling critical challenges head-on, from talent to ecosystem,” the report says. “Initiatives that are undertaken in silos, or which only scratch the surface of what is possible, will disappoint.”

Capgemini says that some firms have been able to succeed by using a four-step process:

First, explaining the vision clearly and securing leadership buy-in. “By establishing a clear and compelling vision, organizations demonstrate that intelligent automation is a strategic imperative and are able to answer critical questions,” the report says.

Second, developing a clear pilot process. “The automation business case will need to assess the impact on transaction processing time and employee time saved and consider variables such as the volume of transactions or the number of exceptions in a specific process,” according to Capgemini. Firms should also consider starting with “low-hanging fruit” and engaging talent through hackathons and accelerators, the report says.

Third, scaling up with an automation center of excellence. “To promote effective collaboration with the CoE, organizations should consider incentivizing functions based on business benefits derived from implementation of intelligent automation,” Capgemini suggests.

Fourth, industrializing automation. ‘A smarter, holistic approach ensures the organization reengineers processes to remove exceptions and that benefits are measured at an enterprise level rather than at a use case or process level,” the report concludes.

Nathan  Golia

Nathan Golia

Nathan Golia is editor-in-chief of Digital Insurance. Nathan.Golia@sourcemedia.com