Business process automation shifted into high gear during the COVID-19 crisis, making technologies such as low-code platforms, AI, and robotic process automation (RPA) critical success factors for any organization in the decade ahead. The same is true for the insurance industry where many companies are leaning into hyperautomation to streamline operations and take friction out of the customer journey as well. But pivoting from paper to digital isn’t easy.
Nine out of 10 insurance companies say they’re struggling to develop the technology infrastructure they need because of legacy software and gnarly IT systems according to McKinsey.
Not to mention that legacy processes can be super complicated. Or that digital transformation calls for more than just giving legacy processes a digital facelift. Or that going digital calls for a fundamental transformation of legacy workflows with a customer-centric approach. The question is how do you do that and strike the right balance of human and digital processes?
And if you can do that, how can you get the most out of powerful technologies such as low-code, robotic process automation (RPA), AI, and machine learning to automate processes and integrate legacy systems across your organization to create a single, connected layer that speeds customer engagement and drives top line growth?
Enter “connected insurance,” a concept that has caught on with insurers seeking to combine automation technologies to elevate customer experience, quickly adapt to change, and sustain long-term growth in the post-COVID world. Which is a good segue to the final episode of this two-part interview—On low-code, digital trust, and staying ahead of the risk curve—with Rohit Puranik, Global Head of Insurance Partnerships, Alliances and M&A at Infosys. If you missed part one, catch it here.
The following transcript of the interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
You said that you first started looking at blockchain five years ago. So, what opportunities did you see in the technology? What attracted you to it?
We envisioned blockchain and AI as ways to improve customer experience. We saw it as a way to enable faster processing of claims for a client. We saw it as a way to provide more data across different ecosystems, and a better way to potentially look at customer information holistically. We have seen our customer leverage AI to transform proof-of- insurance from complicated, manual, and error-prone to being transparent and streamlined.
Beyond blockchain, let’s talk about the concept of “connected claims” and digital trust which we touched on earlier. I think connected claims and digital trust are really relevant now with the explosion of AI and machine learning across insurance and other industries.
Right. I mean a growing amount of consumer information is available to carriers and other businesses. I’m talking about financial history, health records, and other personal information.
Sharing this kind of data is regulated and protected by law in many countries. A carrier may think they are using the information to enable or to improve the customer experience. But there’s always the element of consumer trust involved.
I mean, if I call my insurance carrier and they don't have an answer for why they want my personal information that’s a problem. So, I think the challenge is to build trust especially in a business-to-consumer environment. Customer data is a carrier’s secret sauce. It’s a pivot point. And if that information starts getting exposed, it erodes trust, and that’s a serious problem. I hope that makes sense.
It does. I just wanted to make sure we touched on digital trust because I think it's an important part of the conversation about digital transformation, and the idea of connected claims processing and how automation fits into that. Talk about the big idea of connected claims and the underwriting process.
Connected claims means automating claims intake and increasing straight-through processing, and the process is actually widely used by some major carriers. It’s a big benefit for consumers.
For Infosys, for example, we’re able to accelerate the processing time for a claim from two to three days to just four hours. I mean, that's huge for consumers.
Let’s switch gears again. Big data is a big buzzword in the insurance industry. Data is critical to analyzing trends in any industry. Talk about the relationship between low-code and data and data analysis in insurance.
Right. If you think about that, insurance is about risk and risk management. Ten years ago, data mostly came from third-party sources. But with today’s technology, carriers can access more data than ever before. Today, data is captured through IOT devices in commercial buildings that capture data and pass them back to a remote server. Or data could be gathered via a drone that captures, posts, and previews information and shares it with other systems.
The internet of things (IOT) is evolving fast. We’re already generating tons of data from wearables and industrial devices. So, talk about risk management in the context of this mega trend, and how low-code fits into the story.
There are different risk models that data can help in managing claims and underwriting. Every day, new data sets are being created that were not possible in the past. And if we can use this data to optimize operations, it can also improve customer experience and drive top-line growth.
But the key is in how this data gets used. And that's where low-code comes in. It’s a better way to integrate data across the enterprise. This matters because data is everything in the insurance world.
When I think about leveraging data, it could be a simple video recording of property damage. But a low-code platform like Appian enables us to analyze the data and share it with either a claims or underwriting process. And so that's the key. I think a low-code platform like Appian accelerates data capture and analysis and improves the speed and accuracy of the decision-making process.
We’re at the end of our time slot, but I wonder if you can provide some quick pragmatic tips for mitigating digital risk and staying ahead of the risk curve over the next 10 years.
I think the important thing is to focus on building organizational resilience in the post-COVID world, right? I think it’s essential to put customers at the center of everything that you do. And by customers, I mean end-users, your employees, and your business and technology partners.
Think about technology as an enabler of better customer experience. Don’t allow technology to drive your strategic thinking.
But with the help of a low-code platform, you can get the most out of technologies like AI, blockchain, and machine learning to bring value to customers in any organization.
(PS: Be sure to stop by Appian booth #932 and Infosys booth #1146 at ITC Vegas, Oct. 4-6, 2021. Click here for more details.)