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A controversy of our age: tech makes business more human

Technologies help business to move away from the generalized stance of the customers and address each of them personally, regarding their lifestyles, behavior, and mindset. And yes — this means business becomes more attentive, caring, and… more human. Even the insurance business.

Matasha Boot
1st May 2018
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Once upon a time a human being acquired access to the internet. He took all of his values and beliefs, likes and dislikes, favorite books and music, and claimed himself as a new inhabitant of the virtual space. The habitual three dimensions were added up with the qualitatively new environment, where somehow people were willingly exposed. Then there were laptops, tablets, and smartphones, making access to the web instant and easy. Business went online as well. Not only did communication between the client the company become closer, it has changed dramatically. And if the relationships transformed, the effect of those relationships also changed their nature and scale.

The changing face of business

In the age of the sophisticated consumer society, businesses are facing increasing competition, and each company’s ability to adapt to this rapidly changing environment defines their overall performance and success. The scientific and technological boom has significantly changed the business ethos over the past century. 

Integrating the technological advancements into operations has been viewed as a compulsory attribute, having a considerable impact on the efficiency, optimization, management practices, brand image, and consumer experience.

The shift to this technocratic and environmentally conscious paradigm has evoked the necessity of an innovative approach, and IT systems, applications, and devices have firmly reinforced their justified presence in the everyday lives of people on a global scale. 

However, the business ecosystem has been transforming for approximately the last 150 years. The nineteenth century gave rise to the concept of cooperation, and this was one of the turning points. The shift to the new humanistic paradigm via the creation of democratic structures gave birth to new principles and goals, where financial benefit is no longer primordial.

Back in the old days, the company's customers were perceived as a single mass, and one general approach was applied to everyone. The target segments were seen as categorized groups of faceless people, where there was no time for real wants and needs of a single person in the crowd. 

Speaking about the relationship between the businesses and their clients, its nature could be reduced to being 'on opposite sides'. The advent of global communications provided access to information about the effect businesses have on environmental and social dimensions. And this increased awareness became the call for change.

The internet created a new data-driven society, market by interactivity, the sense of individual responsibility and co-creation. The arrival of fundraising has generated the need for organizations to be more open to some kind of fusion — democratic, relation-oriented, and transparent communication with the audience is the core of long-term sustainability. 

Big data helps companies to get to know their customers personally and align their values for gaining something bigger than the company's bottom line.

What technologies do to business

Running a business through the customer's eyes — that is probably the main and the most important prerogative given by IT to the business environment. While product development relies on well-worn practices, the realm UX surely does not. When incorporating the product into people's lives the companies have a chance to know what they feel, and this is done via easy communication. Artificial intelligence used in business operations addresses the customer issues within a matter of minutes, then analyzes and stores the information to provide smooth service and improved brand image.

Caring about your client means being truly interested in him, thus, data accumulation is the spine of the personal approach. First and foremost, the key to making use of big data is knowing what the company wants from it. Insights from data provide information of the pain points and behavioral patterns of the individual.

The access to information and enhanced communication drive the necessity of ethical business, where transparency is one of the major elements. People, as the inhabitants of the digital world, would like to know everything about the business they deal with. Open and transparent communication is crucial, especially in the fundraising community: accountability to people as co-creators is essential.

When thinking about research and analysis, digitalization reduces the chance of mistakes and inaccuracy to zero. Advanced technologies empower business to draw up precise statistics, and these efforts later result in the corresponding preciseness of the product. So that it can be seen with the naked eye, these technologies help business to move away from the generalized stance of the customers and address each of them personally, regarding their lifestyles, behavior, and mindset. And yes — this means business becomes more attentive, caring, and… more human.

Finally, insurance is ready to change

Among the raging and booming whirlwind of business and technologies, there has been one particular sphere unwilling to join the tech movement. Archaic and retrograde, the insurance industry has chosen a nihilistic approach toward technologies and their evident opportunities. The conservative nature of the sphere, complemented by bureaucracy and arcane insurance legacy systems, appeared to be at a dead end, exhausted and helpless with respect to its challenges.

The unwillingness to change generated the negative ethos of the insurance industry, giving birth to new generations of people ready to attack it — the fraudster. The scope of insurance fraud is detrimental to the industry, as 90% of the claims involve some fraudulent activity. And again the insurance industry chose the wrong path, putting itself in a vicious circle. Higher premiums for everybody — a measure of unfairness and inadequacy. For years insurance has been anything but ethical.

Insurtech is being replenished by prospective projects with a new stance of the insurance industry, which is seen through the prism of innovation.

Kasko2go is a motor insurance application. This quintessential technology incorporates open source intelligence, visual analysis, signal and image processing, link analysis, text analytics and photogrammetry. Military grade AI is the means of dynamic evaluation of driving conditions technology and predictive fraud detection. A generalized approach has been the scourge of the industry for years. High personalization has finally been introduced to the sphere, meaning a regard for the person driving habits of each particular driver, and as a result — a well-considered pricing for customers. In other words, good drivers will not pay for the bad ones.

BetterView marries insurance with innovation via drones: the company captures aerial images and flags potential problems and hazards for specific properties. The client receives the report immediately. BetterView took what once was an error-prone, manual, and quite a risky inspection process, and streamlined it by means of creating a network of more than 4,000 drone operators. The data is captured and analyzed to provide reports of inspections, wildfire reports, claims estimates and site inspections.

League is a digital health project. The platform connects its customers to a huge network of health services, providing vast choice, credibility, convenience, and savings. It is a digital alternative to traditional health insurance with a number of benefits. The project builds a bridge between employers and employees with a variety of health services including insurance, wellness plans, and workplace health plans. The antiquated industry is changed via putting more control in consumers' hands.

Getting back to the title of this article, a generalized approach toward the insurance client used to be the major characteristic of an inhuman and indifferent business ecosystem. The individual particularities of every customer were neglected, and a one-size-fits-all model led to the negative ethos of the sphere, bad press, and mistrust. Time has changed, and people have changed too. Now we want to sense our exclusiveness and uniqueness, therefore, we want attention to details. Technologies can see them, remember them, and treat us as individuals. 

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