Written by Genevieve Gonzalez, Director of Professional Service, Asia-Pacific, Ventiv
In my role, I’ve had a lot of experience working with risk managers to embed time and resource saving technologies into their business processes, and often encounter a nervousness around how such innovations might impact on the business and their employees; one of the most common fears is that automation will replace employees rather than enable them to do a better, more efficient job.
Ventiv partnered the Pan-Asia Risk and Insurance Management Association’s (PARIMA) conference this year as a silver sponsor, the conference is an opportunity for risk management professionals from across the Asia-Pacific region to come together to discuss industry trends and network with their peers. I’d been invited to take part in a panel session on “innovative tech for risk management” and over the course of an hour discussed some of the challenges risk managers perceive in implementing new technology, observations on the risk landscape and the benefits of embracing innovation, with my fellow panellists, Maxwell Davis of Rolls Royce, Sheri Wilbanks of AIG and Dominic Bell of International SOS, hopefully dispelling some of the common myths and misconceptions for the assembled risk professionals.
The theme for the PARIMA conference this year was “overcoming uncertainty”, and uncertainty is something I see a lot of day to day when discussing issues such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. I do understand the concerns about ‘robots’ taking tasks from hard-working employees, it’s hard not to worry when there is so much talk in the media about machines ‘taking over’ and putting people out of work, but in my view innovation and automation are more enablers than disablers. Many innovations, such as our own new automated renewals system for risk managers, take some of the most cumbersome and time-consuming tasks risk managers face when renewing their insurance coverages and automates them, freeing up their time to focus on more strategic and valuable tasks.
As well as the trepidation around innovation ‘stealing’ jobs, I see some reservations around the willingness to embrace innovation. Many risk managers operate within organisational departments which aren’t necessarily profit centres for the business, in these situations, it can be difficult to demonstrate a return on investment for the spend on technology. There is also a time factor, innovation doesn’t happen overnight, preparation and planning need to take place to ensure that systems are fit for purpose. Many businesses simply don’t feel they can allocate the time and resources to properly implement new technologies whilst also managing the demands of ‘business as usual’. In my view, it is worth the time and effort. I spend a lot of time with clients and understand these challenges, but without exception, the benefits of embracing automation are many;
Looking to the future, we talked about how the risk landscape is likely to evolve over the next five years, robust risk management software must draw on a wealth of data to generate accurate and insightful analytics. Currently, risk management and client data tend to be siloed but I would expect to see these come together in a more integrated way to strengthen analytics.
Ultimately, innovation is happening! Embracing the investment in the time and resources needed to successfully implement innovative technology solutions really does pay dividends in terms of operational efficiency.
Nov 9, 2018
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