Insurance can profit hugely from automation like RPA. But to do so, a few conditions must be met. It is important to align automation initiatives with business strategy and goals, while at the same time keeping projects within reasonable limits. And, most importantly, execution has to follow the same principles as change programs. People are at the centre of enabling and unlocking the benefits of this technology. They need to embrace the ‘what’ and ‘why’ to make automation programs go beyond task automation to enterprise-wide automation.
When looking more closely at the automation initiatives of the early adopter insurance organizations, one cannot fail to see the lack of strategic direction. A lot of these initiatives with task automation in the back office because of the ‘tactical’ need and the low customer impact. Obviously, as automation – as a potential solution to typical business challenges – was not known to the line of business, and compliance is top of mind at insurances, attention and funding was low.
But to reap the full benefits of automation, programs should be enterprise-wide and part of strategic transformation projects in insurance companies. To put it bluntly: the truck is coming, and you cannot escape it. Research shows insurance will be one of the sectors significantly affected with 80% of all jobs impacted by automation, but with careful planning and preparation this does not necessarily mean loss of jobs, it can be automation for good. However, in order for this ‘future of work’ to come to live, organizations and its workers must change their mindset.
So, let’s make sure we don’t leave anyone behind. Let’s make sure everybody embraces the good impact of automation, the advantages of becoming a fully automated enterprise in the new normal, where organizations automate the automatable and empower people to do the work worth doing.
Turning strategy into purpose
What if you could use your current talent to support your growth objectives while reducing your costs? Just imagine using the true potential of your human capital to achieve strategic goals instead of managing today’s operations. Sounds good right?
The moment you can reach the full potential of human capital in your organization, automation grows in its strategic importance. Linking your automation program to your strategic goals is important to find acceptance in the organization. Strategic goals of insurance companies rest upon several pillars like growth, cost optimization, control, customer & employee experience, control. More recently, companies are reclaiming their social conscience credentials where many pay for the protection of the few in need. Automation is the enabling technology that – if aligned to IT and data strategy – can deliver valuable change to achieve your goals and in a much more agile way than previous technologies did. At the same time, as non-intrusive technology, with less investment cost and at the pace your organization is willing to follow.
As you progress on your automation journey and maturity, you will define a vision and strategy for your automation program. But it does not stop there if you want to maximize the customer satisfaction and employee productivity gains: you have to put the power of purpose at the heart of your automation strategy. A purpose-driven automation strategy will help you manage change as it helps explain to your workforce what it is all about and why it is nothing to be fearful of. Doing this will take automation into your company culture and change how you approach automation.
Taking this holistic view while not forgetting the single worker, requires a top-down as well as a bottom-up approach.
Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks are founders of The DIA Community
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