The tide of technological change continues to roll in, and insurance organizations often turn to knowledgeable partners to help them harness the promises of automation to boost efficiency, productivity, and customer-centricity. Teaming up with pioneering insurtech providers and insurance-savvy consultants allows re/insurers to effectively navigate and deploy new-age technologies such as robotic process automation, machine learning, and blockchain.
In a wide-ranging Q&A, John Begley, a member of the Xceedance board of directors, discusses the re/insurance industry’s workforce challenges, the proliferation of intelligent technologies, and the need for insurer-insurtech collaboration to promote innovation and accelerate digital transformation.
Q. The pressure of finding and replenishing talent in the global insurance industry is well documented. Can some talent depletion be alleviated through the thoughtful implementation of intelligent technologies — for fresh and fast momentum in both market-facing and operational priorities?
This issue speaks to ambition. At a strategic level, the implementation of intelligent technologies should underpin an operating model that has already addressed key service delivery mechanisms, including the availability of talent and skills.
For example, the servicing of higher volume transactions would always benefit from intelligent technologies. At a more tactical level, the same technologies can help alleviate staff shortages or peak seasonal workloads. Both strategic and tactical deployments will bring benefits, and I would hope to see an appropriate balance of both in most organisations.
Q. What steps can re/insurers take to set the stage for success in adopting intelligent technologies?
There are still way too many archaic paper processes and legacy systems in the insurance industry. Those must be updated, retired, or rebuilt from a customer service perspective, before embarking on any process automation journey. Having a skilled and trusted partner like Xceedance can significantly reduce the inevitable risk that journey entails. In parallel, some good old-fashioned project management continues to be a critical success factor and should not be ignored simply because disruptive, leading-edge technology is being deployed.
Q. From your experience, what factors are most important in determining the success of a partnership between re/insurers and a strategic consultancy such as Xceedance?
First, any partner must bring to the table deep industry knowledge, skills, experience, fact-based insights, and other perspectives that are valued by the insurance organization. However, even an abundance of skill is of limited value to the client unless the partner and all of its staff can gain trust and respect by being open and honest. In my opinion, this combination of domain expertise, skills, trust, and respect is the defining value proposition that Xceedance can deliver to its clients.
Read the complete interview here.