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Is the Digital Demand Creating a Digital Divide in Insurance? It’s Time for ‘Real Time’ to Meet the Real World


Two years ago “real time” analytics was a novel concept in insurance. The idea that business unit managers could have direct, self-service access to real-time data was a big idea.

Today, many insurers are still working to get their arms around these concepts. In the meantime, the insurance industry is being impacted by external forces that are changing the ways that insurers do business. For example, a recent study by market research firm Technavio states that the four biggest trends impacting the insurance industry right now are:

  1. 1.     The increased adoption of Big Data and analytics
  2. 2.     The intensification of cloud computing
  3. 3.     The prevalence of mobile solutions
  4. 4.     The emergence of insurance tech start-ups

The writing is on the wall. The increasing digitalization of … well, everything … won’t wait for the insurance industry to catch up.

So how can established insurers compete when their operations may not be as nimble as new players?

Today, it’s not just about having real-time analytics. It’s about applying real time to in-the-moment customer interactions. Real time has to operate in the real world.

New demographics demand new models

Let’s talk about Millennials.

Perhaps no other force is driving change in insurance like the rise of the Millennials. They’re demanding new channels. Unlikely to pick up the phone and call an insurance agent, Millennials are more inclined to research what kind of coverage they need, comparison shop, read carrier reviews, and make purchases online. Waiting an hour for a quote could be dealbreaker.

Once they’ve purchased a policy, they probably want to be able to manage their accounts online, get real-time access to chat with representatives, and have visibility into the status of their claims.

All of this requires an intricate dance of coordinating front- and back-office operations to provide a seamless customer experience.

Established insurers can have a significant advantage in reaching more digital-savvy demographics – if they know how to capitalize on the massive data stores that they’ve amassed to create new and compelling products that are delivered and serviced in an efficient way.

Data wrangling, simplified

Real-time analytics, using a single source of data, can be the key to helping insurers sync digital operations on the customer side and the employee side.

Data visualization tools that operate from a single source of information, such as SAP BusinessObjects Lumira software – which runs on the powerful SAP HANA platform – can help enable real-time visibility throughout insurers’ operations.

In the back office, insurers can identify and address bottlenecks in claims, applications, and underwriting. In the front office, insurers can attract and delight customers who expect a smooth and coherent experience. Using the SAP Business Objects Cloud solution, insurers can use historical data to simulate operations in real time and forecast results based on changing cost drivers.

With the right tools, established insurers can meet the digital demands of today’s in-the-moment market, right now, in real time.

For more information, please visit us at SAP for Insurance

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