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From product, to service, to experience

08 September 2021 Myra Knoesen

The African Insurance Exchange (AIE) 2021 conference saw local and international speakers share insights on thought provoking topics.

On the topic of technology, a panel discussion saw experts discuss the mega trends in technology and how they are shaping the way we do business.

Product, service, experience

Vukani Mngxati, Chief Executive Officer of Accenture in Africa said, “when you look at the way music has evolved, for example from 1969, you can see how much has changed and the way things have evolved. At that point it was about product and music. There was not much service etc. Fast forward a couple of years later, music is not enough. It is a whole package and experience… its about additional services to bring about value that will make people want to buy that ticket. That’s the evolution from product to service, to experience.”

“This is relevant to the industry. Why? Because product was all it used to be about… now it is about service and experience,” added Mngxati.

These are the five trends the panelists talked about.

Stacking strategically

David Christie, Managing Director at Accenture said a new era of industry competition is dawning – one where insurers compete on the IT systems architecture to drive efficiency and better participation in the customers outcomes.

According to the Accenture Insurance Technology Vision 2021 report, “Seventy seven percent of insurance executives state that their technology architecture is becoming critical to the overall success of their organisation,” said Christie.

“Now is the time for insurers to examine their current and legacy technology packages and understand how to stack them to deliver an ideal experience for customers. Sometimes innovative stacking can unlock new capabilities. To become or remain industry leaders, they must build competitive technology stacks. At the same time, as they make investments in cloud, data analytics, emerging technologies like DARQ, insurers need to think about the long-term impact these choices may have - either limiting or propelling them in the future. The most dynamic, sustainable and competitive architectures will be the ones that let businesses tap into the full spectrum of technology capabilities available today, building unique solutions for current markets, while maintaining a focus on reusability, repurposing and the enterprise’s evolving goals,” continued Christie.

“Now is the time to strategically migrate to the cloud, leverage AI and take advantage of next generation infrastructure,” concluded Christie.

Mirrored world

“Growing investments in data, AI and digital twin technologies are giving rise to an emerging era of business and intelligence: the mirrored world. Artificial Intelligence is allowing insurers to re-imagine their products and journeys, ultimately creating solutions that evolve as customer needs and behaviours change. Leaders will take this a step further, embracing a mirrored world of intelligent digital twins to unlock opportunities across the value chain,” said Garrick Germanus, Managing Director at Accenture at Financial Service.

“As enterprises connect more expansive networks of twins and build out the mirrored world, these capabilities will grow exponentially. Leaders will be able to make data and intelligence the primary orchestrators of the business, increasing real-time agility at scale, overhauling their innovation processes, and forming entirely new mirrored-world ecosystems and partnerships. There are four main areas where insurers can benefit from this big picture mindset—distribution, underwriting, operations, and claims. When intelligent twins are connected in mirror environments, they are a powerful way to turn data into actionable, big-picture insights. Intelligent twins have powerful simulation capabilities, and with your data foundation in place, they can help insurers as they reimagine their innovation process,” concluded Garrick.

Think like technologists

Natural language processing, low-code platforms, robotic process automation and more are democratising technology, putting powerful capabilities in the hands of people across insurance businesses.

“Powerful capabilities are now available to people across business functions, adding a grassroots layer to any insurer’s innovation strategies,” said Amantha Naidoo, Industry Strategy & Consulting Lead at Accenture Africa.

“With technology democratization, everyone can be an innovator. This is a golden opportunity for insurers to make their employees a core part of their digital transformation effort. To be successful, insurance leaders will need to extend the innovation imperative across every business unit. Insurers will need to actively teach their people to think like technologists, enabling them to solve problems with technology. They will also need to put the infrastructure and resources in place to support this. By empowering everyone, those closest to a problem can be the ones to create solutions, keeping insurers connected to customer needs at every step of the value chain,” added Naidoo.

Anywhere. Everywhere

Remote work is here to stay, and it’s time for insurers to transform this into an advantage.

“As insurers reimagine the future of the workplace, they face two key realities: first, Bring Your Own Environment (BYOE) is here to stay, with remote employees reluctant to return to old, office-based ways of working. Secondly, insurers will need to employ effective strategies to differentiate themselves in offering employees an enabling infrastructure and culture that allows for more flexibility and freedom,” said Lulama Madikizela, Senior Manager at Accenture.

“To get the best from the BYOE model, insurers need to think about the entire organization in a new way. They need to toss out convention and reimagine how their workforce model can best support and enable their people, and they also need to reimagine their company culture—how remote employees and on-premises employees collaborate, what work is better done in which locations, and what the purpose of physical offices will become. The strongest organizations will be physically distributed, creatively connected, empowered by technology and able to innovate from anywhere,” continued Madikizela.

From me to we

“COVID-19 made it clear that companies can’t navigate through disruption and uncertainty alone. With the right partnerships, insurers have the opportunity to extend distribution models, using APIs to tap real-time sources like atmospheric, seismic and satellite data for faster and more accurate pricing and underwriting, or using flight APIs for faster, straight-through processing of parametric claims like travel insurance,” said Richard Pouncett, Head of Innovation: Africa at Accenture.

“Cloud rotations have always been gateways to deep collaboration, and now that every company has accelerated their cloud transformation at once, there is an abundance of potential partners. The future of insurance lies in collaboration. Leaders will reimagine their partnerships though ecosystems and multiparty systems, which will help businesses gain greater resilience and adaptability, unlock new ways to approach the market, and ultimately enable outcomes for customers and communities,” continued Pouncett.

In conclusion, Mngxati said “stack strategically, embrace a mirrored world, adjust your distribution and service models, and as a technologist, link innovation and efficiencies and capture the value of key moments and, ultimately, enable outcomes for customers and communities.”

Writer’s Thoughts:
The experience economy derives itself from technology. This is why technology plays a critical role, now and for the future. The key message here is that the decisions insurers make now will set the course for years to come. Do you agree? Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email me your thoughts [email protected]

 

Comments

Added by Quinten Knox, 08 Sep 2021
STACK TWIN TECHNOLOGIES IN THE DARQ AND EMBRACE A ATMOSPHERIC MIRRORED WORLD OF DEMOCRATIC TECHNOLOGY WHERE YOU CAN LUXURIATE IN STRAIGHT-THROUGH PROCESSING OF PARAMETRIC CLAIMS.

When I read infomercials like that of Accenture below, one or two questions always pop into my head. Have these kids ever in their lives started and run their own businesses, like insurance brokers do all the time? How do they get away with spouting their meaningless and unintelligible crap and get paid stupid money by insurers to peddle their ‘consultations’? It is all intellectual masturbation if you ask me.

David Christie, Managing Director at Accenture said a NEW ERA of industry competition is dawning – one where INSURERS COMPETE ON THE IT SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE to drive efficiency and better participation in the customers outcomes.

According to the Accenture Insurance Technology Vision 2021 report, “Seventy seven percent of insurance executives state that their technology architecture is becoming critical to the overall success of their organisation,” said Christie. LIES, DAMN LIES AND STATISTICS! (Benjamin Disraeli / Mark Twain)

“NOW IS THE TIME for insurers to examine their current and LEGACY TECHNOLOGY PACKAGES and understand how to STACK THEM to deliver an IDEAL EXPERIENCE for customers. Sometimes INNOVATIVE STACKING can UNLOCK new capabilities. To become or remain industry leaders, they MUST build competitive technology stacks. At the same time, as they make investments in CLOUD, DATA ANALYTICS emerging TECHNOLOGIES like DARQ, insurers need to think about the long-term impact these choices may have - either limiting or propelling them in the future. The most dynamic, sustainable and competitive ARCHITECTURES will be the ones that let businesses tap into the full SPECTRUM OF TECHNOLOGY CAPABILITIES available today, building unique SOLUTIONS (to which problems?) for current markets, while maintaining a focus on reusability, REPURPOSING, and the enterprise’s EVOLVING GOALS,” continued Christie.
NOW IS THE TIME to strategically migrate to the cloud, LEVERAGE AI and take advantage of NEXT GENERATION infrastructure,” concluded Christie.
“Growing investments in data, AI and DIGITAL TWIN TECHNOLOGIES ARE giving rise to an emerging era of business and INTELLIGENCE: the MIRRORED WORLD. Artificial Intelligence is ALLOWING insurers to re-imagine their products JOURNEYS, ultimately creating SOLUTIONS (to what problems?) that evolve as customer needs and behaviours change. Leaders WILL take this a step further, EMBRACING A MIRRORED WORLD of INTELLIGENT DIGITAL TWINS to UNLOCK opportunities across the value chain,” said Garrick Germanus, Managing Director at Accenture at Financial Service.

“As enterprises connect more EXPANSIVE NETWORKS OF TWINS and build out the MIRRORED WORLD, these capabilities WILL grow exponentially. Leaders WILL be able to make data and INTELLIGENCE the primary orchestrators of the business, increasing real-time AGILITY AT SCALE, overhauling their innovation processes, and forming entirely NEW MIRRORED-WORLD ECOSYSTEMS and partnerships. There are four main areas where insurers can benefit from this BIG PICTURE MINDSET —distribution, underwriting, operations, and claims.

When INTELLIGENT TWINS are connected in MIRROR ENVIRONMENTS mirror environments, they ARE a powerful way to turn data into actionable, big-picture insights. INTELLIGENT TWINS have powerful simulation capabilities, and with your DATA FOUNDATION in place, they can help insurers as they RE-IMAGINE their innovation process,” concluded Garrick.

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING, LOW-CODE PLATFORMS, ROBOTIC PROCESS INFORMATION are DEMOCRATISING TECHNOLOGY, putting POWEFUL capabilities in the hands of people across insurance businesses.

“POWERFUL capabilities are now available to people across business functions, adding A GRASSROOTS LAYER to any insurer’s innovation strategies,” said Amantha Naidoo, Industry Strategy & Consulting Lead at Accenture Africa.

“With TECHNOLOGY DEMOCRATISING, everyone can be AN INNOVATOR. This is A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY for insurers to make their employees a core part of their digital transformation effort. To be successful, insurance leaders WILL need to extend the INNOVATION IMPERATIVE across every business unit. Insurers WILL need to actively teach their people to think like TECHNOLOGISTS (techno-what?), enabling them to SOLVE PROBLEMS (what problems?) with TECHNOLOGY.

They WILL ALSO NEED to put the infrastructure and resources in place to support this. By empowering EVERYONE, THOSE CLOSEST TO THE PROBLEM (everyone ….. those closest to the problem) can be the ones to create SOLUTIONS, keeping insurers CONNECTED to customer needs at every step of the value CHAIN,” added Naidoo.

Remote work is here to stay, AND IT’S TIME for insurers to transform this into an advantage.

“As insurers REIMAGINE the future of the workplace, they face two key realities: first, Bring Your Own Environment (BYOE) IS here to stay, with remote employees reluctant (really?) to return to old, office-based ways of working. Secondly, insurers WILL need to employ effective strategies to differentiate themselves in offering employees an ENABLING INFRASTRUCURE and culture that allows for more flexibility and FREEDOM,” said Lulama Madikizela, Senior Manager at Accenture.

“To get the best from the BYOE model, insurers NEED TO think about the entire organization in a new way. THEY NEED TO toss out convention and REIMAGINE how their workFORCE model can best support and enable their people, and they also need to REIMAGINE their company culture—how remote employees and on-premises employees collaborate, what work is better done in which locations, and what the purpose of physical offices will become. The strongest organizations WILL be physically distributed, creatively connected, EMPOWERED by technology and able to innovate from anywhere,” continued Madikizela.

“COVID-19 made it clear that companies can’t navigate through disruption and uncertainty alone. With the right partnerships, insurers have the OPPURTUNITY to extend distribution MODELS, using APIs to tap real-time sources like ATMOSPEHERIC, SEISMIC AND SATTELITE DATA for faster and more accurate pricing and underwriting, or using FLIGHT APIs for faster, STRAIGHT-THROUGH PROCESSING of PARAMETRIC CLAIMS like travel insurance,” said Richard Pouncett, Head of Innovation: Africa at Accenture.

“CLOUD ROTATIONS have always been gateways to DEEP COLLABORATION, and now that every company has accelerated their cloud transformation at once, there is an abundance of potential partners. The future of insurance lies in collaboration. Leaders WILL REIMAGINE their partnerships though ECOSYSTEMS and multiparty systems, which WILL help businesses gain greater resilience and adaptability, UNLOCK new ways to approach the market, and ultimately enable OUTCOMES for customers and communities,” continued Pouncett.
In conclusion, Mngxati said “STACK STRATEGICALLY, embrace a MIRRORED WORLD, adjust your distribution and service models, and as a TECHNOLOGIST, link innovation and efficiencies and capture the value of KEY MOMENTS and, ultimately, OUTCOMES for customers and communities.”


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