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Robotic Process Automation: Driving Business Outcomes in Insurance

Earlier this month, Sutherland sponsored TINtech 2018, one of the UK’s premium insurance events covering digital transformation, technology, and innovation in the sector. Amongst a full day of exhibiting, Sutherland’s Chief Operating Officer, Kannan Sundaresan, chaired an RPA panel discussion on the maturation of digitization in financial services organizations worldwide.

Blog - Robotic Process Automation: driving business outcomes in insurance

Throughout the discussion, Sundaresan reminded the audience that as the various layers of digitization have grown – and as RPA technology has become increasingly popular – RPA is a critical part of a business looking to be successful at scale. RPA is not just an efficiency tool, Sundaresan remarked, it is a tool that drives significant business outcomes.

After sharing use case examples of the evolution of RPA within their respective organizations, panellists took questions from the audience. We’ve recapped highlights from the discussion below:

Blog - Robotic Process Automation: driving business outcomes in insurance

How do we create a business case for RPA?

The need for clear goals was high on the agenda, as well as starting small. “What will the objective be, and how will this project deliver towards those objectives? We also need to think about how this can happen even without everyone online.”

“Teams can spend weeks on a proof of concept and it’s really important to know what success will look like, or there is no point in going ahead.”

“Small steps help. Remember, teams and projects like this didn’t even exist three years ago.”

It was suggested that one of the keys to business buy-in could be found in case studies, and thorough planning. “We need to believe in innovation, and point towards where successes are already happening.”

“The key is looking at the sponsorships versus the cost of automation, to weigh it up. If successful deployment will mean that all costs for the business are reduced, and barely anything will be lost, it is worth it. This depends on the processes.”

“When you have a proper review you know how much it will cost, it’s not a leap of faith, so ensure you do a proof of concept.”

How do you measure success in automation?

A successful RPA deployment is not necessarily monetary.

“Success is not always financial, depending on the project. We can be guilty of ‘sitting in a bubble’ and just thinking about this as an outcome, but it’s also about customer satisfaction.”

“If stakeholders see what automation has brought to the table and come back and ask for more, we know it’s had a positive effect. It can also evidently improve compliance, process time, efficiency, award wins and employee satisfaction.”

“We can also look at the decision making aspect of the tech. How has the business performed since deployment? Is the data consistent, and is it easily utilised?”

“As you begin to automate, you can measure how much you use the tools, plus the efficiency of the bots themselves.”

At Sutherland, we consider RPA an effecdtive tool to work alongside humans. It is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but must be deployed thoughtfully across the business in order to be effective. Identifying the correct situations and employing the right tools to automate the mundane tasks within an organization will alleviate insurance experts to allow them more time to analyse, empathise, and create on a more strategic level.

Sutherland’s insurance practice is centred on process transformation: taking existing processes for property and casualty, health, and life insurers and rethinking them for the digital age. Robotic process automation (RPA) is one of the tools we use to achieve this – our 205 bots currently handle 120,000 transactions a month, delivering operational efficiencies for clients whilst their customers receive the best possible experience.

Our thanks go to the three excellent speakers answering questions on the panel:

  • David Greenall, Head of IS: Digital, Distribution, Individual Business & Investments, Canada Life
  • Annarita Roscino, Head of Predictive Analytics, Zurich UK Underwriting
  • Tim Yorke, Transformation Director, AXA

Romy Nash, EMEA Insurance Sector Director, Sutherland

Download our latest white paper on Robotic Process Automation here: