Mastering the 'post-digital' era in insurance

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Insurance is entering a "post-digital age" where technology capabilities are going to be seen as table stakes and partnerships will become a differentiator.

That's according to Accenture’s Technology Vision for Insurance 2019, which says that insurance products and services will evolve and adapt based on the behavior and context of the consumer. Insurers’ next competitive advantages will involve capitalizing on personalized policies and services that reach customers during important life moments in real time.

Artificial intelligence and other technologies will be a key component of insurers' expanding their knowledge of and interactions with every customer. With the ability to target customer’s specific needs, insurers can analyze customer’s "digital demographics" -- based on data provided from a wealth of connected and social devices -- to provide hyper-personalized and on-demand services based on the consumers' exact needs.

More than four in five respondents (84%) who participated in the Technology Vision survey believe that digital demographics give their organizations a new way to identify market opportunities for unmet customer needs, according to the report. Accenture shared three new goals for leaders looking to do more than digitizing core business:

- Move your focus to the end: Success will mean carefully choosing the specific opportunities companies want to target—and just as important, the ones not to target—then working backward to determine how they will get there.

- Define what it means for your business to be post-digital as the world moves into a new phase of cooperation: As insurance companies settle on their new goals and the pathways they will take to reach them, they must also determine which ecosystem partners they need and where their own place in the ecosystem should be.

- Evolve from SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) to the next set of disruptive technologies. Mastering SMAC will position insurance companies to harness the combinatorial power of disruptive technologies that will define the post-digital era. Failure to hone their expertise in SMAC will leave businesses unable to meet even the most basic demands of a post-digital world.

The average engagement of insurance customers with insurers are reported as once or twice a year. Three in five insurers are already using technology to build products or services that boost the frequency and quality of customer engagement, with another 35% planning to do so in the next year.

“There’s an opportunity for insurers to increase and improve their touchpoints with customers and forge a stronger, more personalized experience by harnessing customers’ digital footprints, but they’ll need to digitize their core before they can reach these new heights,” shares Daniele Presutti, leader of Accenture’s Insurance practice in Europe.

“For insurers to excel in the ‘post-digital’ environment, they’ve got to become more agile and implement SMAC as a core competency before they can rotate to newer technologies, including distributed ledger technology and AI,” adds Jim Bramblet, lead of Accenture’s Insurance practice in North America.

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