Business reimagined

A preparedness guide for insurance & financial services

From Crisis to Opportunity

Business preparedness and a strong continuity plan can be the difference between easing tension and successfully weathering a storm or facing destruction. The current global pandemic is one such a challenge, which has demanded flexibility and urgent response across virtually every industry. For many insurance and financial services firms, addressing the realities of COVID-19 with forward-thinking swiftness requires a shift in operations toward increased automation.

As the drive toward digital transformation increases,

20%
of finance leaders say tech investments will facilitate efforts to reduce costs
92%
thought their business models would need to change given digitization
Faced with an economic downturn – more than 40% of CEOs globally expect revenue to be down by 20% a year from now – organizations everywhere are rethinking how they operate to reduce manual burdens, gain new efficiencies and unlock a more agile approach that is better prepared to meet the future.

In addition to general economic pressures, insurance and financial services firms must grapple with the unique difficulties brought on by the pandemic, including surges in mortgage and life insurance applications, early withdrawals from retirement accounts, and document volumes outside their normal peak cycles. The economic outlook does not guarantee a letup anytime soon. While many Fortune 500 leaders are anticipating business conditions to improve by the end of 2021, a recent Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey indicated that 27% of leaders polled “expect the recovery to stretch beyond next year.”

Even with these uncertainties, for business leaders who are looking ahead, this juncture has opened up new ideas and bigger opportunities for positive change.

In the words of Elliott Robinson, partner at Bessemer and board member at Hyperscience:

“We’re seeing large global enterprise digital transformation happen at a pace over the last two months that I don’t think I’ve seen before in my career.

For financial firms and insurance companies, this can mean a chance to address the pain of manual processes and legacy approaches by accelerating a digital transformation. As Hugh Hessing, senior adviser to insurtech and financial services companies and former COO of Aviva UK, observes:

“Insurers don’t necessarily go looking for change, but COVID has highlighted some of the change that was being introduced and it’s just accelerated its adoption.”
The best way to plan for an uncertain future is to be prepared and armed with knowledge. Read on to learn what an accelerated digital transformation agenda, including the latest in automation technologies, means for your business – and why now is the optimal time to take this step forward.

Is your business prepared for the next crisis?

With more employees working remotely by necessity, and top lines affected by the global and economic downturn, organizations are under pressure to manage costs and improve efficiencies.

“While a lot of insurance insiders had been speaking of the industry’s future state as ‘Insurance 2030,’ COVID-19 had turned that timetable on its head, so now it’s really ‘Insurance 2023’ – or even sooner.”

Legacy systems and operations are struggling to adapt to unexpected surges in demand and new use cases brought on by the current crisis. Organizations that rely on these systems are now faced with the reality of needing to throw significant time and money into on-going maintenance and development for new functionalities. Not only do these systems struggle to accommodate unexpected surges in business, new use cases, or changing regulatory or customer conditions but as the teams who use them continue applying band-aid solutions, they fall deeper into technical debt. Many companies who have been slowly exploring modern digital solutions now need to speed the pace of adoption to keep up with urgent demands.

According to Nicholas McQuire, Vice President of Enterprise Research:

75
of organizations are using, testing or researching the deployment of ML in their business
Companies cannot afford to have resources tied up in POCs – hyped products are being shelved in favor of tech that solves business problems.

Because of the ongoing high volumes of loan applications, unemployment claims, refinancing, retirement account withdrawals and other requests, manual operations simply can’t keep up with unexpected workflows and demands.

The longstanding problems inherent in legacy document processing workflows are made all the more glaring in times of crisis. On top of the usual demands on your operations, companies must also contend with additional forms and documents types and requests for new customer data.

Data challenges you may be facing:

  • Continued reliance on paper
  • Messy, handwritten forms
  • Lack of document standardization [e.g. invoices]
  • Document imperfections [e.g. skewed images, blank pages]
  • Remote workplaces and reduced staff

Manual processes and outdated systems are letting you down at the worst possible time.

Leadership will be the determining factors when it comes to which organizations will successfully meet these challenges. According to Hugh Hessing:

“If you’re not changing, you’re dying slower than your competition. You’ve got to constantly be prepared to look at new models and options and ways to continuously improve your business, sometimes transformatively.

Leverage automation to ensure your business continues to run

Companies have been pushed to adapt to the current realities and adopt new ways of operating at lightning speed.

50%
of all financial leaders say tech investments today will help their company long-term
60%
of CFOs expect a long-term benefit from technology investments.

This year also laid bare the need to automate outdated manual tasks. To meet the current and upcoming industry challenges, it is vital to harness the power of automation to extract data accurately and efficiently.

Failing to embrace automation also increases the risk of falling further behind your competitors.

3/4
of companies will operationalize AI solutions by 2024

The agility offered by automation can bridge gaps, keep operations running, cut costs, and help customers get the assistance they need to remain secure and happy. Automation is also your buffer to unexpected increases in workload and document volumes, like what we’ve been seeing over these last chaotic months.

Modern technology gives you the ability to future-proof your operation and set yourself up for long-term success.

Data is the linchpin to better decisions, analytics and ultimately the secret to staying competitive.

Turn to Intelligent Document Processing [IDP]

Intelligent Document Processing [IDP] solutions enable major opportunities for growth in the future, as forward-looking enterprises set the stage for increased adoption.

There are several key trends emerging at leading companies:

  • A strong demand for automation to reduce costs and increase operational efficiencies
  • The rising need for enterprises to process large volumes of documents with greater accuracy and speed
  • Improved sophistication of AI technologies powering IDP solutions, which significantly increases accuracy rates compared with traditional OCR [Optical Character Recognition] solutions
  • Increased adoption of cloud-based services, giving users flexibility and accessibility to solutions
  • Higher availability of pre-packaged solutions that provide quicker time to value

Leading IDP solutions like Hyperscience read pages with context in order to capture and process data with a high degree of accuracy, efficiency, and speed. With IDP, you have the ability to enhance the image quality of distorted documents, perform reorientation, and remove blank pages before processing built-in, which can help save time and significantly improve the accuracy of extracted data.

It not only enables enterprises to achieve cost savings, but it also furthers workforce productivity and overall customer experience, which can put you ahead during this uncertain time.

Above all, the last few months have shown us that businesses can no longer afford to rely on paper and people-driven processes. The next weeks and months will be a critical time for many organizations as they reset, regroup, and prepare to meet the coming challenges head-on.

Learn How Automation Can Help Your Industry