How will insurers manage digital content in the connected world?
The exciting possibilities of an increasingly connected world are captivating many people. And the insurance industry is no exception. Insurers are busy strategizing and investing in technological opportunities for new products, improved safety, and improved communication with policyholders.
Telematics and usage-based insurance for vehicles is just the beginning. Some insurers are building smart homes and experimenting with connected cars to test the possibilities. Others have already deployed smart devices to monitor pipe leakage, manage smoke alarms in real time via mobile app, proactively report on the need for machine repair, and other useful tasks and services.
An explosion of content
Taking advantage of rapidly advancing drone technology, insurers are now using them for inspections and claims handling. Wearables are providing new options to communicate with insureds to provide, for example, weather alerts or status updates. Meanwhile, other insurers are incorporating wearable fitness devices into wellness programs for employees and policyholders.
The list goes on. Though the technologies are different, there is one common, major implication for all of them – they are collecting enormous amounts of digital data.
The big question for insurers is – how will they manage all of this data?
Much of this activity and the data generated occurs in real time. But insurers are used to interacting with a customer a few times a year and exchanging a handful of emails, documents, pictures, or messages.
Suddenly, the volumes and variety of data are becoming overwhelming. Yet insurers need to capture, store, route, archive, and deliver all of this digital content electronically.
ECM: Managing digital content in the connected world
This creates an urgent need for a new era of enterprise content management (ECM) systems. ECM systems have been quiet workhorses for many insurers – efficiently managing digital content and increasingly integrating it with transaction workflows. Some modern ECM systems are quite good at helping companies to optimize processes, supporting true business process management (BPM).
But now, ECM systems must support the next wave – helping to manage digital content in the connected world. Insurers need a place to store and manage drone videos that reveal the extent of catastrophes. They need to manage alerts to wearables and text messages, emails, and communications with policyholders with an awareness that they affect not only the customer experience, but may also have legal or compliance implications.
The information exchanges from smart devices in homes or vehicles will also create a need for more digital content management. Some of the new digital data will be structured data handled by core systems in traditional databases. But much of this new data will be unstructured, which will place new demands on ECM solutions.
Insurers would be wise to evaluate their current ECM solutions and solution vendors to ensure that they are well prepared for the implications of digital data in the connected world.