Risk & Analytics

Insurance’s Future with Big Data on the Cloud

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The speed of the unrelenting technology evolution now underway, as well as the impact it is having on business can’t be overestimated. Even for those of us keeping a pretty close eye on the ‘play-by-play,’ the fusion of mobile, Big Data, cloud and analytics – all moving quickly by themselves as major technologies – still surprises. The interplays and the overlapping nature of their convergence to form new industry innovations make the boundaries hard to spot and maybe a bit irrelevant. Yet their assemblage will be the disruption that catapults a new market leader in the insurance space.

The insurance industry, particularly the P&C segment, has not had to come to grips with change faster than it will need to now. The potential opportunity is large, and the risks of not acting outweigh the cost of challenges and learning along the way.

The technologies that may hold the most promise for insurance are cloud and mobile. Cloud is often seen in simplified ways as a technology stack of infrastructure and applications in a central resilient and secure location. What escaped me up until recently was the value that cloud offers insurance by combining those capabilities with unique and sometimes singular data, like weather data, combined with unique industry modeling. This offers not just improvements on the existing business but all new potential businesses for insurance, as at their core the game is predicting risk better than any other entity. The access to the best data and APIs, and deep analytics that tap into insights from unstructured data is the part of cloud that can greatly improve how insurance estimates risk, improves its products and offer lasting competitive advantage.

The potential of Big Data and analytics on the cloud goes beyond the products and assessment of risk, too. When leading insurance companies start to tap into opt-in models to get data from its insured, as well as tap into insights from beacons to make better marketing decisions and eliminate fraud, I’d expect big winners and losers. Mobile then provides the ability to better control risk by making data and insights available to their insured clients at the critical moment – fire tips delivered by Smart Phones or texts when people are camping in wildfire areas can shape the risk profile differently.

I’m still learning myself on how cloud, mobile, Big Data and deep analytics come together to utterly change insurance. The premier cloud and mobile conference, InterConnect 2016 will provide more insight and depth on the potential of these technologies to the future of insurance and many other industries.

Program Director, Cross-Portfolio Services Strategy

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