IoT and Big Data, the tech that’s disrupting Africa
Disruption is now known as the means of changing the way business is being conducted due to the advancement of technology and ability to use innovative new business models.
In a digital and connected era where every industry is being disrupted by a wave of innovative technologies, it’s no surprise that the insurance industry is following suit.
Digital is charting the path for insurers in Africa and the success or failure of this will be governed by the willingness of the insurer to embrace this [digital] future.
Although there has been an increased use of innovative technologies in South Africa, the rest of Africa has been slow towards adoption due to access; however, with the likes of smartphones, tablets, and computers, the African market lies open for opportunity and ready for disruption.
There are several trends disrupting the insurance industry worldwide; either technology related or driven, however the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data are the key emerging trends that are the most disruptive.
IoT enabled devices generate significant amounts of information, this is known as Big Data and can be analysed to give insurers meaningful insights into the daily practices of the insured.
This ultimately gives insurers a better understanding of customers and they can then for customised solutions specific to their needs.
IoT has the potential to radically disrupt the traditional insurance business model and modernise traditional processes, especially in risk assessment.
The data collected from IoT devices, when properly collected, collated and analysed, can support an insurer by offering predictability, helping to identify current and future trends which the insurer can then act on.
Analysis of usage data will be able to pinpoint customer trends and patterns in their lifestyles, buying habits and risk portfolios.
Data accumulation over time allows for stored data to be analysed for patterns or trends for both predictive and comparative use, ensuring that insurers are on the right path and that mistakes are not repeated.
Thanks to the growth of smartphone adoption across Africa, data is being generated at a phenomenal rate, and there is no doubt that understanding big data, as a concept and an offering, will have a massive impact on the African continent.
Just by being able to extract information from data, insurers will now be able to determine things like customer behaviour, buying patterns, customer dissatisfaction or even predict future outcomes and trends that will impact the industry – all of which will become true market differentiators, no matter where the company is located.
Insurers who operate in Africa need become more agile, they need to identify ways in which they can appeal to the African market and deliver insurance that is quick, easy, instant and flexible.
Insurance companies have much to offer to the African economy. Digitalisation allows us to gain considerably better insights into our individual and institutional customers and thereby to better serve their needs. We believe deeply in Africa’s huge long-term growth potential and we will leverage our global footprint and extensive expertise to strengthen our market position and to attract African talent.
Africa has its challenges, but the progress far outweighs the hurdles. It is an exciting time to be doing business in Africa. Partnerships with and empowerment of local African businesses seem to be the vehicle that will have the most impact. With the development that is currently occurring throughout the continent, partnership opportunities abound in Africa for the insurance industry.
It’s time to embrace technology and disrupt the way insurance works for longevity.
Ultimately, using IoT data should be adding to the whole customer experience, ensuring that insurers are able to deliver better, more customised products, while maximising their service and bringing costs down – for themselves and their customers.
Africa has a notoriously low insurance penetration rate; technology has the potential to change this. Insurance companies should be looking to technology to develop their African footprint through the rollout of value-adding insurtech solutions.
Not only will this lead to improved customer experience, but the data gathered using technology can help insurers and brokers to better understand the risks covered by traditional insurance products and spur the development of new products.
Business Development Director
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