ITC DIA Europe

How AI will impact shareholders, customers, and employees

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Feb 14, 2024

With AI and automation revolutionizing work, insurance executives have a unique challenge to balance three stakeholders with complex set of expectations: shareholders, customers, and employees. They all have unique needs. Executives need to unpack what’s important to each and where there’s commonality. And importantly, executives need to create a blueprint for AI, identifying core pillars to guide their work.

Can AI data be ethically utilized whilst ensuring customer satisfaction? How can you effectively manage the profound changes in how employees work? Which jobs are at risk of disappearing and for which jobs will upskilling be necessary? We discussed these questions with Tais O’Dwyer, Vice President and Head of Global Financial Services Industry at UiPath.

Why is AI now more relevant than ever for the insurance industry?

Tais: “The industry is on the cusp of dramatic change in business and operations. AI has the potential to reinvent the enterprise to make smarter faster decisions, process exponential volumes of data, upskill the enterprise to focus on higher-order work, and create personalized and fast experiences and products that delight customers. But the industry has operated in much the same way for decades requiring executives to contend with the realities of friction in the enterprise that slow business, add cost, create inflexibility, lack of agility to scale, and increase risk making it much more challenging to deliver on evolving customer expectations. Executives need to balance impact and value for customers, shareholders, and employees and ensure they focus on the most important pillars to ensure short and long-term value creation.” 

Which trends do you see regarding AI and insurance? Can you give some examples?

“AI is here to stay. To get the maximum value, AI must be integrated into core processes. But it has to be done in a way that’s governed, transparent, safe and respects the customer. The AI revolution is just as impactful for employees. Ignoring the impact on talent in the organization alienates the enterprise’s greatest asset – its people. The drag of legacy operations cannibalizes the progress of emerging technology, so enterprises need to solve for both. Intelligent automation provides the foundation.

In most cases, best practices center around one of the stakeholder groups. Often heard guidance says ‘focus on the customer’ or ‘ensure that employees are a part of the change and not left behind’. The reality is that this is too limited for an executive who has the responsibility to harmonize the needs of all three stakeholder groups. The promise of AI cannot be achieved by skewing towards the objectives of one of these groups. Research indicates that in the insurance industry, 50% productivity improvement can be achieved by automation. AI turbo charges adding another 20% improvement, especially in complex processes with significant amounts of data, like underwriting and risk management. AI can fundamentally reshape how the industry operates and level the playing field among established insurers and insurtechs.”  

What’s your vision for the future?

“By considering the objectives and impact on all three stakeholders, executives can define principles for optimizing the organization to ensure no group is left behind. They have an opportunity to define an enterprise strategic program from the onset, which can avoid costly rework or changes in approach as they scale. It starts with a foundation of trust and security, which is critical to our industry. Trust and security extend from matters of privacy and consent, data protection and security to fairness, transparency, and ethics. From there, the next critical element is to optimize the organization. This requires assessing the enterprise for points of friction that dull the customer experience, frustrate employees, and add expense and complexity to scale.  

Thirdly, deploy intelligence capability where it can have an amplified effect. Where can AI be used to create personalized products and services, and improve the understanding of the customer? Where can AI be used to help employees make better decisions, or to help employees access capabilities that enhance and uplevel their skills? Where can AI be used to achieve what humans are unable to achieve, boosting what the company is capable of? These are typically areas with exponential scale of data. Approaching the digital transformation of the enterprise with these elements in mind future proofs insurance companies from unbalanced solutions that have costly negative impact and stunt transformational progress.”  

Who is UiPath?

Founded in Bucharest, Romania, and headquartered in New York, UiPath is a global software company that makes robotic process automation (RPA) software. The company’s software monitors user activity to automate repetitive front- and back-office tasks, including those performed using other business software such as customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. 

The UiPath Platform combines generative and specialized AI with the agility and speed of enterprise automation, machine learning, and natural language processing. That means businesses don’t just get smarter. It means they can put that intelligence to work to streamline processes, eliminate errors, and deliver better experiences to customers and employees.

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