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Accenture outlines five tech trends for insurers

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Accenture has identified five critical insurance industry technology trends for 2021 after COVID quickly elevated customer expectations beyond the traditional offer to products and services enabled by the cloud.

COVID exposed inflexible work arrangements and operations, fragile supply chains, untrustworthy information, new customer needs and “the limitations of longstanding norms for how companies operate and how people live”.

Now, insurers need to move beyond risk indemnification and reimagine insurance as “continuous customer engagement” that helps mitigate and manage risk, Accenture says.

“The revenue landscape is shifting. Going big in the cloud now may also help insurers gain first-mover advantage on emerging revenue opportunities,” it says.

The Accenture Insurance Technology Vision 2021 report says cloud-based technology is becoming imperative for new products. Cloud investment topped a list of eight digital areas for insurers in a global survey of 553 Insurance business and IT executives.

“The year 2020 was a catalyst for rapid change,” it said. “We have a blank slate, waiting for the next vision of the future to be defined. We have an opportunity we may never see again in this generation – to actively shape our future almost from the ground up.

“Leading in an uncertain future will require insurance companies to become skilled at change and reinvention.”

Following are Accenture’s “five critical trends for insurers for 2021”.

  1. Stack Strategically: Drive efficiency and better serve customers by “creating technical wealth” and “competing through tech”.
  2. Mirrored World and “intelligent digital twins”: Accenture says growing investments in data, AI and digital twin technologies are giving rise to an emerging era of business and intelligence and that insurers can “unleash the power of data”.
  3. I, Technologist: Natural language processing, low-code platforms, robotic process automation and more are “democratising” technology, putting powerful capabilities in the hands of people all across insurance businesses.
  4. Anywhere, everywhere: Remote work is here to stay, and it’s time for insurers to transform this into an advantage. Accenture recommends rethinking the talent space, dropping patchwork solutions for a permanent strategy and embracing the new work culture.
  5. From Me to We: The future of insurance lies in collaboration and leading insurers will “reimagine their partnerships through ecosystems and multiparty systems.” A transformation opportunity is offered through trusted partnerships.