Analytics, mobile, social, cloud and cyber — when these five forces mature, converge and are baked-in instead of bolted-on, insurers move closer to achieving the possibilities of what Deloitte calls a Postdigital Enterprise — embracing industrialization but with digitalization at its core. “Elements of Postdigital,” is the theme of the firm’s just-released “Insurance Tech Trends 2013” report.

In its report, Deloitte breaks up the 10 trends into two groups: Disruptors and Enablers. To see a slideshow on the Enablers — technologies in which many CIOs have already invested time and effort, but Deloitte says warrant another look because of new developments or opportunities — click here. Many of the trends in the report point to opportunities that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations and sometimes even business models in the Postdigital era.

“This year’s trends build on the continuously emerging phenomena of social media and mobile computing — a tangible manifestation of the concept that customer needs and experiences will drive marketplace differentiation,” the report states. “Meanwhile, insurers are facing changing demographics, buyer values, and increased demands for transparency – and many of these technology trends have a role to play in those efforts. In addition, the threat of increased regulation and privacy concerns in the industry must be accounted for as new technologies are integrated with legacy environments. In this environment, 'knowing your customer' takes on a completely new meaning.”

In its report, Deloitte highlights the following trends in an effort to help insurers discover the elements of postdigital in their enterprises:

1. CIO as the Postdigital catalyst. Catalyzing value from the elements of mobile, social, analytics, cloud and cyber spaces, CIOs can reshape business as usual and drive innovation. Plan big, start small, fail fast, scale appropriately.

2. Mobile and beyond. Mobile should be top of mind for organizations, and the next wave of mobile may fundamentally reshape operations, businesses and marketplaces, delivering information and services to where decisions are made and transactions occur. And the potential goes beyond smartphones and tablets to include voice, gesture and location-based interactions, device convergence, digital identity in your pocket and pervasive mobile computing.

3. Social reengineering by design. Businesses are no longer building technologies just to enable interaction; they are engineering social platforms that can relieve rather than serve traditional organizational constraints such as deep hierarchies, command-and-control cultures, physical proximity and resource concentration.

4. Design as a discipline. Intuitiveness and simplicity are moving from IT aspirations to enterprise mandates when it comes to consumer experience. Isolated in silos of user experience, marketing and product development, individual design functions may be reaching their limits. What’s needed is a collaborative, immersive environment to work together.

5. Insurance telematics. Mobile is changing the game in auto insurance. Mobile devices now contain advanced electronics, making smartphones a cost-effective telematics platform. Mobile technology will become the near-term game changer in auto insurance by facilitating entry into telematics, thus setting the stage for small and mid-sized insurers to compete with innovative usage-based insurance offerings.

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