What are the technology priorities for carriers these days? Better facilitation of client self-service; standardized agency workflow and enhanced staff productivity.

That’s what Applied Systems discovered when it asked 100 insurance professionals about their technology wish lists. The survey segmented questions into three categories: tech investment, growth and productivity and business intelligence. What follows are the priorities as reported by the survey respondents.

Technology investment trends

Asked to pinpoint what’s driving investments in technology, more than half said organic growth (55 percent) and changing customer demand (54 percent). Competition was the third driver, at 48 percent.

Specific areas of investment included:

  • 60 percent of respondents ranked agency or brokerage management system updates as No. 1 priority;
  • 47 percent of respondents said online client self-service was their top technology investment area;
  • 37 percent of respondents cited mobile technology as a top investment priority.

Growth and productivity gains

When considering the value of technologies that drive growth and productivity:

  • 64 percent of respondents pointed to standardized agency and brokerage management workflows;
  • 44 percent chose client self-service offerings;
  • 33 percent chose cloud technology;
  • 32 percent selected mobile technology;
  • 27 percent said business intelligence applications.

Business intelligence

More insurers are integrating Big Data and business intelligence strategies into their agency productivity and profitability models. When asked about their priorities in this area, results included:

  • 58 percent cited staff productivity as the most important business insight to be derived from a business intelligence application;
  • 46 percent said such technology enables them to better identify growth opportunities;
  • 23 percent said such technology will drive greater staff productivity.

“Digital technology is driving fundamental and rapid shifts in consumer behavior, and changing demographics, including the economic and professional arrival of the millennial generation, are only accelerating this shift,” said Reid French, chief executive officer, Applied Systems. “This survey further showcases the growing appetite for advanced technology solutions from agencies and brokerages to strengthen their competitive position, organically grow their businesses, and better meet expectations for multichannel engagement — anywhere, anytime — from today’s insurance consumers.” 

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