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What’s new and what’s next in automation trends?

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on May 12, 2023

Automation does not just change how people work, but it changes the very work people are capable of doing. Adopting automation should no longer be a question, but the question should be: how to move forward and take real advantage? Where is automation headed and how can insurers make the most of it?

We sat down with Elaine Mannix, Global Insurance Leader at UiPath, to talk about what’s new and what’s next in automation trends: the guide to the latest technologies, strategies and use cases – and how insurers can best make use of this to advance their business.

Elaine, the first trend that is mentioned in the guide is that automation will become the enterprise’s new way to operate and innovate. Can you briefly explain how this will emerge?

Automation is a strategic enabler as can be seen in many insurance companies’ strategies; and holistic automation matters. We see that complete, enterprise-wide automation introduces 40% greater productivity and efficiency improvements over piecemeal automation alone. The C-suite is investing to extend automation across the entire business and customer journeys; only this way, they can set the stage to unlock automation’s real value and get the most out of the technology.

The second trend is that executives are rethinking the workforce with automation. How can automation counteract growing labour and inflation pressure?

Automation can help executives to tackle financial challenges. Labour markets are tight and economic challenges are around every corner. It is no surprise that automation is being used to reduce costs with inflation pressures, especially around claims and to combat the growing shortage of skilled workers. Automation enhances productivity and improves the processes of the workers available while creating a more attractive work environment to attract and retain talent.

CIOs are facing new challenges, and need to step up to meet their goals. Why is automation key to their plans?

CIOs are developing the strategies and scaffolding that will improve costs, streamline workflows, reinvent experiences and introduce new business opportunities. CIOs are all about the data in insurance, getting quality data and insights to the right people or automated processes. CIOs are discovering that automation could be the core tool in their arsenal, not only offering its own benefits, but also improving other tools in their own right.

Process mining and automated testing are becoming “must-haves”. In which areas does process mining make automation perform even better?

Insurance companies are using process mining, task mining and task capture to get transparency across their fragmented processes, providing much needed-metrics to know what to fix, what to automate and what to focus on for their valuable employees. Automated testing can now quickly test automation and apps (in production, pre-deployment and live), helping to improve quality, stability, resilience and performance.

Low-code becomes a top priority, why do businesses need simple-to-use tools?

Democratizing automation skills through citizen-led programs is gaining traction as the governance and quality concerns are overcome. Low-code development tools let users skip time-consuming manual coding and get to a finished product sooner. Users on all levels are able to quickly and easily create more of the unique automation that their business needs.

New AI-powered innovations push automation’s boundaries even further. Can you name a few examples?

Of course, we are seeing that our AI tools are being used across multiple functions, from contact centres to actuaries, and we expect this trend to grow even further, in particular, with communications mining improving customer experience. Natural Language Processing Models for example, can enable common questions and requests to be handled automatically, while detailed customer insights are gathered along the way. Finally, intelligent Document Processing will enable robots to read and understand a variety of documents.

Lastly, automation is hotting up shared services in HR and IT as we prepare the future workforce for change in the industry. How do they tackle this?

Today’s teams are already clamouring for new skills. Automation changes the nature of work, and the workplace (i.e. culture and makeup of the underlying organisation) will need to change as well. New roles, new expertise and a new mindset are necessary. HR and IT will need to work together to hire, train and upskill this new calibre of worker, with less focus on the transactional and repetitive and more on delivering the greatest value from automation offers.

To summarize, what are you expecting to see more of in 2023?

Firstly, we’re expecting that automation will drive more operational efficiency across end-to-end customer journeys, enabled by discovery tools to identify areas of improvement. Also, communications mining and generative AI at the front door enables quicker identification of customers and their requests, while routing these to fully digital or hybrid workflows. We expect to see an increase in hybrid workers, humans and robots working side-by-side with humans in the loop automation, dealing with high-value work. Next, we expect that automation will support real-time data and insights being delivered to the right people or automated processes at the right time. Finally, democratizing automation will create an army of expert change agents across the business.

ITC DIA Europe 2023

A special thanks to Elaine Mannix and UiPath as they are PLATINUM SPONSOR of ITC DIA Europe 2023. We are very excited to welcome Elaine to the Deep Dive stage at ITC DIA Europe 2023 where she will talk about how you achieve AI-Powered automation with tools such as AI, ML and RPA.

In case you want to contact Elaine directly, simply send an email to [email protected]

Elaine Mannix, Global Insurance Leader at UiPath, presenting at DIA Amsterdam’s Women Leadership Dinner 2022.
Amsterdam 12-13 June


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