An industry survey conducted at the Acord Loma Forum in May confirms that the US insurance industry is ready to embrace change to improve business processes in 2014. The focus of the forum surrounded cloud technology, big data management and analytics, social initiatives, and mobile technology.

Technology investments on the cardsXchanging conducted the survey at the forum to explore insurance technology and spending trends for 2014 and beyond. According to the survey, 67% of respondents expect their company’s IT budget to increase this year, with 44% significantly increasing it by 6-10% more.

With research from the Aite Group showing that proper use of technology can reduce loss costs by 15%, insurers need to consider technological investments now. Technology advancements improve business processes and increase the efficiency of claims processing. Not surprisingly, claim investments and mobile capability are priorities this year.

39% of respondents to the Xchanging survey reported that mobile capability was a main priority for their company. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, mobile portals are the way forward for insurers. Portals reduce pressure on call centers, improve customer service and give supervisors direct access to claim information on the go.

Claims investment came in second with 16% of respondents listing it as a priority. Insurers are going to be investing in predictive modeling and big data to improve claims processing in the future. According to research by the Aite group, leveraging data to a greater extent can save time. Date insights better inform both automatic and manual claims decision-making via continual analysis. This will help claim administrators concentrate on the most important claims first.

Based on the survey results, Jenna Richardson, Director for North American Insurance Services at Xchanging, expects to see insurers investing in advanced technology, business process outsourcing, and IT outsourcing to differentiate themselves and increase market share.

This research confirms what has been repeated over the first half of 2014. Insurers need to realize the potential improvements technology investments can offer to their company.