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January 09 2014 | Mary Ann Garwood

In my view, collaboration will have a major impact on the insurance industry in 2014. We’ll see collaboration capabilities and cultures distinguishing the leaders from the followers, the winners from the losers. Technology-based capabilities such as videoconferencing, chat, texting, workflow routing, desktop management, document and screen sharing, content and information management, and even speech analysis are among a wide range of maturing and newer technologies and tools that will be bundled to create a new type of collaboration environment. We’ll see teams being quickly assembled to address specific situations and opportunities. Expertise from many different disciplines will be amalgamated to reach better decisions. Crowdsourcing and ideation practices or techniques will become more pervasive, yielding new ideas – better ways to do the work and innovative ways to manage the business. 

Collaboration will continue to fundamentally change the dynamics in this industry from rigid, defined procedures to insightful, informed, accurate, and appropriate actions. We’ll see more underwriters, brokers, and customers using real-time collaborative interactions to shorten the underwriting process and improve the outcome. Collaboration will be evident in loss situations, improving the response time and the quality of the service by assembling the right experts and resources to aid in recovery. Service levels will be significantly improved and relationships enhanced with integrated content and communications. Collaborative capabilities will help train employees, enhance enterprise knowledge management, and give organizations the ability to fully capitalize on the expertise of their experts. Collaboration capabilities will serve as a catalyst to get the right people working together with the right content and the best communication options for optimizing interactions.    

With greater cross-functional communication and servicing capabilities, insurers will be better able to create an environment that nurtures cooperation and collaboration. This culture for collaboration is the very fuel that propels transformation and innovation by enabling the appropriate parties to work together to deliver new levels of service excellence, make better decisions, and grow profitable business.

For more information about SMA’s research on emerging technologies and collaboration, contact me at mgarwood@strategymeetsaction.com.  

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To learn more, please contact:
Mary Ann Garwood
Strategy Meets Action