Digital Vision: Digital Insurance

Foreword

Introducing the Atos Digital Vision Insurance series

At a Glance

Introducing the Atos Digital Vision Insurance series, Carol Houle – SVP, Global Head of Financial Services and Insurance at Atos – explains why now is the right time to be considering the future of the industry. Including article highlights across the three key themes of Smarter Insurance, Greener Insurance and Safer Insurance.

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Carol Houle

Senior Vice President, Global Head of Financial Services & Insurance, Atos

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Digital Transformation in action: Atos in North America

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

That familiar French phrase that suggests that the more things change, the more they remain the same could easily apply to the insurance industry over the years. Whether we are talking about advances in technology, new business models, or consumer behavior, disruption is not new to the sector.

What is new is that for the first time a series of significant disruptions have occurred almost simultaneously while the world has experienced a hugely accelerated shift to digital as a result of COVID-19.

For large, traditional insurers this is a watershed moment. With the immutable forces of digital transformation, increased competition, and new customer expectations, grandees of the industry are setting strategic priorities that will, it is hoped, stand them in good stead as the industry adapts and changes.

For every organization, there is a lot to consider.

Should the business adopt a preservation strategy and defend its existing markets, or implement a growth strategy and do new things with the new tools available? Does the leadership mindset support the cultural change required to compete with digital natives? And what is the most appropriate technological approach required to deliver business value?

The answers to these questions will be different for individual insurers. Market share, leadership teams, and the degree of technical debt are likely to be very different for a global player compared to a regional leader or a niche insurer. Yet there are also many shared considerations for insurers, especially when it’s no longer enough for companies to simply keep pace with the market.

Stakeholders now expect insurers to anticipate and be able to respond to future changes too.

These can come from all angles – whether that is in the form of customer influences from other sectors, the challenge of demand-based ecosystems, potential regulatory changes, emerging security threats, geo-political volatility, or demands to respond to the decarbonization agenda.

All of these factors are now on the agenda of insurance industry executives tasked with leading their businesses forward with a pragmatic business strategy. One that covers not only the organization’s approach to transformation but also covers robust governance, risk management, and compliance.

In this Atos Digital Vision for Insurance series of articles, we aim to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing insurers across all of these topics. Bringing together practical approaches from experts inside and outside of Atos, the aim is to support insurance leaders in attempting to define or adapt strategies to enable on-going success. Following three core themes – Smarter Insurance, Greener Insurance and Safer Insurance – the articles present ideas, knowledge and guidance from experts that can be directly applied within individual insurance businesses.

At such a pivotal moment for insurers, we hope you find the Atos Digital Vision for Insurance series both informative and valuable as you lead your business forwards.

Smarter Insurance

Despite the promises of digital transformation, the shadow of legacy still looms large for many insurers. Technical debt is all-too often a barrier for significant change – particularly when the mindset is still that of introducing ‘Big Bang’ technology initiatives.

However, progressive insurers are demonstrating how a shift towards agile, iterative process improvements can deliver on-going value, such as switching from a project to a product mindset, where people work together to improve the flow of value and bring products to market faster than before. David Germain highlights how this notion of taking the longer-term perspective of incremental improvement can help deliver the bigger drive for legacy modernization.

Taking a broader perspective, Ahmed Sheik answers whether large insurers can ever innovate in the same way as their InsurTech peers. While Siobhan Costello and Daniele Principato look at external drivers like the industry’s move towards Open Insurance and digital ecosystems that are focused less on the insurer and more on the customer.

More on Smarter Insurance >

Greener Insurance

Insurers already play a unique role in helping people live safely and prosperously, protecting the people and assets that matter to us the most. And now the sector is pivotal in enabling businesses and communities to transition to a net zero economy through sustainable insurance protection. The adaptability and innovation that characterizes this sector will help to power progress for society over the next decade.

So, with environmental, social and governance reporting becoming increasingly important in boardrooms, Ben Murphy looks at what this means for insurance portfolios and organization-level sustainability targets and reporting. While Franck Coisnon addresses the ways that insurers can respond to new environmental risks through data analytics, geo-mapping, and AI-powered predictive climate risk assessments as well as ecosystem collaboration.

From adopting greener operations to enabling usage-based insurance, Kulveer Ranger also reviews how insurers can limit their exposure to carbon-intensive sectors and use data to inform future investments to prioritize sustainability.

More on Greener Insurance >

Safer Insurance

Since the insurance sector is founded on the transfer of risk, it is interesting to note how risk management could change in the coming years. By way of example, Steve Evans studies ideas for reducing counterparty credit risk in reinsurance, including federated data. Natalie Larnder highlights how the claims process in the UK is undergoing significant digitization.

While Magnus Shoeman asks, ‘Whether smarter means safer,’ and explores different ways in which digitization and automation could improve claims handling for the benefit of both insurers and their customers.

More on Safer Insurance >

Digital Insurance – Further Insights

Want more on emerging digital insurance trends, technologies and terms? We’ve got you covered.

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Carol Houle, Global Head of Financial Services and Insurance, Atos