- The steady move toward digital has an impact on the future of insurance communications
- Cloud communications platforms are becoming a fixture in the insurance industry
- Cloud communications platforms offer flexible, accessible communication options
The way people live and work has changed drastically. Even before the events of 2020, which forced most folks to stay home, technology enabled people to connect digitally. The question arises: in this new digital environment, when many employees will work remotely, how can insurance companies increase customer engagement and employee productivity?
Recently, RingCentral and Frost & Sullivan hosted a webinar about the future of insurance, connected work, and customer engagement. Read on to learn how cloud communications will impact the insurance industry going forward.
Cloud communications platforms in the insurance industry
The theme of the webinar was the importance of cloud communications platforms in the insurance industry.
Cloud communications platforms utilize unified communications technology (chat, video conferencing, telephony, and file sharing). They have two roles:
- To boost customer engagement by giving users flexible, accessible channels with which to connect with their insurer
- To improve internal collaboration between employees (which has a positive impact on customer engagement)
The future of work is in the cloud
Robert Arnold, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan’s Connected Work Group, shared some interesting research about what the future of work will be. The biggest takeaway is that cloud services will power business agility going forward.
Arnold shared several statistics:
- 54 percent of companies surveyed have already deployed a video conferencing solution, with another 29 percent planning on deploying one in the next two years
- 44 percent of companies have deployed an instant messaging and presence solution, with another 35 percent planning on doing so in the next two years
- 39 percent of companies have deployed enterprise telephony in the cloud, with 38 percent planning on doing so in the next two years
- 35 percent of companies have already deployed a communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS), with 40 percent planning on doing so in the next two years
Why are companies moving their communications infrastructure to the cloud? There are a number of advantages. Companies in the insurance industry see the following benefits:
- 20 percent believe the shift will enhance resiliency and business continuity
- 28 percent believe the move to the cloud will enable productive remote work
- 28 percent believe this shift will improve the customer experience
Arnold also pointed out that a significant portion of insurers see the value in cloud communications and collaboration adoption: 40 percent rate it as a high priority, whereas 37 percent of the total market does.
Rich video interactions can improve internal collaboration as well as customer engagement. For video-first experiences, the insurance industry and other companies in the financial services sector lead the way with higher deployment rates than the general market (59 percent versus 55 percent).
The insurance industry is working toward adopting single-vendor end-to-end solutions; in that respect, the sector trails behind the general market (7 percent of the insurance industry and other financial services organizations have single-vendor end-to-end solutions, as compared to 13 percent of the rest of the market).
Mobile-ready communications and collaboration
Today, business interactions happen everywhere and anywhere. To be future-ready, insurance companies need a mobile cloud communications platform.
Insurance companies and other financial services providers have seen a higher impact of remote work on their employees. Frost & Sullivan research shows:
- 20 percent of insurers and other financial services providers have experienced a moderate impact
- 31 percent have experienced a significant impact
- 40 percent have experienced a high impact (as compared to 32 percent of the total market)
Moreover, Frost & Sullivan research predicts that the insurance industry and financial services providers will see some of the highest rates of remote workers in the next two years:
- 28 percent of insurers and financial services providers will have 60 to 75 percent of their workforce working remotely
- 24 percent of insurers and financial services providers will have 76 to 99 percent of their workforce working remotely
Many of those workers will be in customer-facing roles. To engage with customers wherever they are, a mobile-friendly insurance communications platform will become a must-have.
Open and programmable communications
The cloud enables agility and drives operational efficiencies. Customizing insurance communications platforms enhances agility and efficiency even further; today, insurance companies expect to have the ability to customize their cloud communications platform.
Frost & Sullivan shared some research about cloud communication platform capabilities:
- 59 percent of companies use messaging (SMS/chat/social media) APIs now and plan to continue using them in the future
- 58 percent of companies use video APIs now and plan to continue using them in the future
- 54 percent of companies use voice APIs now and plan to continue using them in the future
- 46 percent of companies use chat/AI APIs now and plan to continue using them in the future
Additionally, Frost & Sullivan research points to high usage of cloud communications platforms in the burgeoning API economy. The insurance industry and other financial services providers have a higher rate of deployment for CPaaS (41 percent as opposed to 34 percent of the total market).
AI can increase efficiency, accuracy, and productivity, especially when incorporated into cloud communications platforms. Research from Frost & Sullivan shows that 68 percent of IT decision-makers in the insurance industry and financial services space believe this capability is either important or very important, and 54 percent of them feel AI-enabled cloud communications platforms are either significantly beneficial or very beneficial.
Why do IT managers in the insurance industry and financial services providers believe AI-enabled insurance communications platforms are important? A third of IT decision-makers in the insurance industry and financial services space believe AI-enabled cloud communications platforms facilitate innovation, while 19 percent say it improves customer care.
RingCentral’s cloud communications platform: building the future of insurance communications
RingCentral’s market-leading cloud communications platform offers insurance companies flexible, accessible, future-proof communications options. To learn more, get a demo.
Originally published Sep 08, 2021, updated Sep 14, 2021