Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
Charlie Hanna | November 29, 2017
Given the opportunity to head off catastrophe before it occurs, most individuals and businesses are easily inspired or incentivized to take action. You can’t manage what you can’t see and you can’t measure what you can’t manage, right? It’s why people go to fortune tellers and get preventive medical tests. And, it’s why insurers invest in things like predictive analytics.
While the introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT), smart devices, and mobile apps have resulted in a more connected consumer, these advances have only made things worse for data-challenged insurers. Now facing a virtual onslaught of emerging data sources with varying levels of trust or authenticity, insurers still struggling to simply manage static, siloed policyholder data face an inflection point.
Today’s insurance customer expects anytime-anywhere access to policy, coverage, and claim data, but insurers must still ensure security and privacy, and guarantee one version of the truth across platforms, users and transactions. Availability of, and accessibility to, data which exists only in paper files or hidden behind legacy firewalls cannot be utilized to its fullest potential. That means managing and mobilizing insurance data in a connected world just became insurance industry priority #1.
The Sins of the Past
In the Information Age, the idea of paper files is expectedly problematic. In the last ten to 15 years, insurers started scanning and digitizing historical documents simply to eliminate storage charges and overhead involved with maintaining such files. As luck would have it, the somewhat unexpected side benefit of digitizing policyholder files was increased access to information. This gave insurers a holistic view of a policyholder’s product portfolio, enabling cross selling, upselling, or even protection from identity theft.
However, for many insurers, the sins of the past are literally coming home to roost. Consider that policyholder data, and the information derived from it, was never something insurers actively planned to use. It was simply a by-product of doing business. Today, the industry has a second chance; an opportunity to do things better this time around. Insurers need a single enterprise information platform for managing insurance data and documents, which will not only unite, but protect, all critical systems and information.
The value of a single enterprise information platform, fortunately, goes beyond the quick access and simple document routing benefits possible for all internal users, once data is normalized for performance and available across systems. Such a platform empowers efficiency and agility through collaboration, so insurers can grow and innovate with confidence. With data digitized, normalized, and managed securely, insurers can make information more widely accessible, even externally, on a 24/7/365 basis via tightly-integrated, self-service cloud solutions.
While users can quickly search for documents and easily navigate to all related content, the larger benefit comes in the form of robust information management and process automation capabilities. This makes information actionable by any authorized employee, regardless of the device used, in the office or in the field. By extending an information management strategy and mobilizing critical insurance data in this way, insurers’ employees can easily view information from other business applications through direct integrations; add notes and annotations to documents; complete tasks and approvals as part of a workflow; route content to others; and trigger processes by completing forms or capturing key content.
The modern workforce is on the move. In addition to positions which always required mobility, like agents and adjusters, insurers now increasingly support remote and on-demand workers across all departments. An enterprise information platform enables remote or on-demand workers, as well as policyholders with self-service capabilities, to go beyond simple access to relevant data and documents. Effectively, it becomes a content hub, surfacing information from other business systems and mobile apps.
Once insurers are working with digital information stored in the cloud, the challenge becomes moving it from the data center to the point of action, wherever that may be. Natively-developed mobile apps can leverage content management capabilities delivered via an enterprise information platform, and such mobile capabilities empower employees to intelligently capture images and data, complete forms, collect information, complete businesses tasks, get approvals, and interact with or modify content while offline, using approved mobile devices.
Managing and mobilizing insurance data and documents in a connected world may be the most important strategic imperative facing insurers today. Accessibility can be achieved across systems and platforms as part of a larger digital transformation initiative, but only when data can be delivered to the point of action can insurers hope to tackle the challenges presented by the mobility inherent to today’s workforce and consumer.
Charlie Hanna is the domestic director of insurance for Hyland Software. He can be reached for further information or comment via email at Charles.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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