Sunday, 7 February 2016

3 ways Insurers can survive Digital Transformation..

With global markets available to do business, every company is spreading its wings in different geographies. This has put tremendous pressures on local players. 

On top of that now digital technological advances, empowered consumers and innovative competitors bringing massive changes in the insurance industry.

In 90s, customers looked into yellow pages for local insurance brokers or agents, rang them to ask for help to get their insurance cover.  Times have changed now with digital age.

Even though Insurance is one of the oldest industries to use statistics and modeling, compared to other industries, they have been slow to react to disrupting digital technology .

Key issues for insurance industry:

  • Insurance is an optional product and this makes for a highly competitive marketplace.
  • Increasing complexity of regulatory & legal requirements like Solvency II, IFRS
  • Consumers now have on-demand access to endless information, customized products at lower prices and require less agent interaction than ever before
  • Capturing & consolidation of reliable data from variety of internal or external systems
  • Threat from non-insurance companies entering insurance business

Here are 3 ways insurers can survive this paradigm shift:

Manual to Digital: Modernizing the quotes, policy admin, claims processing systems will be a key. Simplified & quick insurance quotes, automated underwriting, easy to purchase and manage policies, digitized faster claims processing will help instant gratification to customers.

Big data Analytics: Till date insurers were struggling to collect the data from so many different systems. But with digital transformation, they can mine existing internal data and combine it with valuable alternate data sources like social media & health data to help gain 360 degree view of customers. This will help engage customers as individuals and offer them personalized tailored experience.

Customer first approach: Traditionally insurers interact with customers only when they buy a policy, pay the premium or file a claim which is periodic in nature, compared to banking or retail business. With customer first approach, insurers can go closer to customers and grow loyalty.

Benefits of Digital Transformation in Insurance:
  • Faster streamlined quotes, policy and claims processes
  • Properly mapped customer journeys with Big data Analytics to identify areas of improvement and opportunity for business growth
  • Internet of Things with connected devices, sensors and digital imaging helping immediate assessment and processing of claims
  • More effective and efficient fraud detection via Machine learning 
  • Increased digital channel adoption and native mobile applications which can deliver exceptional experiences to customers and agents
  • Avalanche of data generated by connected cars, connected homes and electronic health records to improve risk assessment, innovate on new products 
Digital transformation is a matter of survival for today’s insurers.


Saturday, 30 January 2016

What is Artificial Intelligence ?

Just over ten years ago, the IBM supercomputer program Deep Blue beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov—the greatest chess mind alive. That moment marked a turning point in the relationship between man and machine.

Later in 2011 IBM Watson supercomputer defeated Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings in US TV show Jeopardy.  

Recently Google’s AlphaGo beat the 2500 year old Chinese game Go.

Machines have topped the best humans at most games, including Chess, Scrabble, Othello, and even Jeopardy!! But the future of artificial intelligence (AI) is about way more than games is used in Digital Transformation.

Artificial Intelligence is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior

There’s definite signs that machines with artificial intelligence will soon be taking over skilled manual work that now is typically handled by humans.

Amazon awarded $20,000 to the creators of a robot that uses Artificial Intelligence to fill orders most like a human, but it’s not going to replace employees yet.

Online services like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, already use deep learning to identify images, recognize spoken words, and understand natural language and translate in other.

Today these biggies are making their machine learning - deep learning software freely available to people.

Last year Google open sourced its artificial intelligence engine TensorFlow, which the company uses for many of its own applications, including voice recognition in Android and even its flagship search engine.

Facebook open sourced designs for custom hardware, designed to run the latest AI algorithms. 

China’s largest search engine, Baidu, open sourced its the artificial intelligence training software.

Microsoft’s Brain is now available for anyone to use in their apps., The company has open sourced the artificial intelligence framework it uses to power speech recognition in its Cortana digital assistant and Skype.

BMW, Tesla, Google are using AI for self-driving cars. Apple is also getting into this so the idea of buying a car from the same company that made your iPod doesn't begin to seem all that far-fetched.

Many experts in the field of artificial intelligence say that it will eventually evolve far beyond all human physical and intellectual capacities.

Recently Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, raised a concern about how AI can be threat to humanity. Even Professor Stephen Hawking warned that AI could spell the end of human race. 

But unlike Terminator movie series with Skynet, we hope that these AI champions will be used to solve real world tough problems like climate modeling to disease analysis and betterment of humanity.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Bitcoin and Blockchain - Digital Future...


Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. It was first created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto.

In this era of Internet and digitization, we’ve moved from phone to VoIP calls, face-to-face meeting to video conferencing, fax to email, cable television to IP TV, and the list goes on. Bitcoins are gaining popularity as a new way to purchase goods or services.

Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by people and businesses, using computer software that solves mathematical problems.

However, Bitcoin’s most important characteristic, and the thing that makes it different to conventional money, is that it is decentralized. No single institution controls the bitcoin network.

They are not tied to any country or subject to any regulation. Instead, Bitcoins are created digitally, by a community of people that anyone can join. 

Bitcoins are ‘mined’, using computing power in a distributed network. Conventional currency has been based on gold or silver, but Bitcoins are based on mathematics.

Bitcoin has several important features that set it apart from government-backed currencies.
  • It's decentralized - The Bitcoin network isn’t controlled by one central authority.
  • It's easy to set up – Unlike banks who ask you thousands of questions and proofs to open an account, you can set up a Bitcoin address in seconds, no questions asked, and with no fees payable.
  • It's anonymous - Users can hold multiple Bitcoin addresses, and they aren’t linked to names, addresses, or other personally identifying information.
  • It's completely transparent - Bitcoin stores details of every single transaction that has ever happened in the network in a huge form of a general ledger, called the Blockchain.

Blockchain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the Blockchain. Nobody can copy & reuse the same Bitcoin for more than one time as every transaction is validated in Blockchain which confirms that Bitcoin was never used before.

You can buy and sell Bitcoins at Mt.Gox, Coinbase, BitQuick, Bitbargain and many more.

Mining Bitcoin involves running software on your computer that processes complex mathematical equations. If your computer solves one of these equations, you get a reward in Bitcoins.

Today Bitcoins are getting slowly adopted but Blockchain is going disrupt the financial industry due to its instant near real time updates and transparency.

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