Intelligent automation in insurance

Moving up the automation maturity curve

With growing automation ambitions, insurers today are making significant investments to move along their automation maturity curve. Yet, many consistent barriers continue to hold them back from moving beyond pilots.

For most insurers in Southeast Asia, the advantages of deploying intelligent automation (IA) – the umbrella of technologies that include, but are not limited to, robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent document processing (IDP), intelligent Business Process Management (iBPM), and advanced analytics – are well-established. By extending the power of technology to tasks traditionally performed by humans, IA enables insurers to break prevailing trade-offs between speed, cost, and quality.

But what is often less discussed is the fundamental difference between insurers who are piloting automations, and those who are scaling transformation efforts. While the former is more likely to automate current processes with limited change, the latter is more likely to have orchestrated a fundamental reimagination of what they do with significant process changes across functional boundaries.

Indeed, from our marketplace observations, the insurers who have been successful at scaling tend to be those with a clear vision, strategy, and approach to capturing value from automation. They would have approached automation as an enterprise-wide challenge, and established the new internal capabilities required. They are also more likely to have combined different automation technologies, and much more likely to be thinking about how automation will assist and augment their talent and workforce.

In this report, we will present a four-phase approach that we have developed to help insurers move up the automation maturity curve. Then, we will illustrate how we have deployed this methodology to support one of the world’s largest insurance groups in assessing the impact of IA on its claims process; designing its IA capability; extending IA to its different units; and establishing an IA Centre of Excellence (CoE) for its operations in Southeast Asia.

Later, we will also discuss three key success factors that we believe insurers should consider as they look to accelerate their IA programs, and some of the goalposts to look out for – including the characteristics of a successful business case, and the key questions to ask when designing a CoE – based on our extensive experience supporting insurers through this journey.

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