As technology continues to advance, one thing that has become increasingly apparent is the change in the way we communicate today. Even in everyday life we have multiple channels to communicate with people. Rather than calling people or sending post, we can access them through a multiple of ways, including text message, email, Skype, or social media channels to name a few. These methods are being introduced into the working environment in a term dubbed “Digital Collaboration”.

communication channelsDigital collaboration uses cloud-based tools that allow users to work smarter in an increasingly virtual working environment with easier access and connections, as well as improved information sharing, to reach a shared goal. These tools include file-sharing applications, teleconferencing, content management solutions, and project management tools.

According to a recent article published by the Digital Insurer, there are five key benefits to digital collaboration in businesses today:

  1. Building deeper business relationships
  2. Opportunities to improve speed to market
  3. Improving customer service
  4. Gaining productivity and saving time
  5. Increasing employee satisfaction

As these tools become more mainstream, there will be fewer barriers globally allowing businesses to easily increase their target market. Employees will also be able to work from anywhere, accessing the data they require to do their job from remote locations.

Interestingly, these changes in communication and behavior will promote a new insurer, who will also interact with agents and consumers in different ways. For example, a customer may want to find out the status of a claim today. To do so, they must call the insurers call center and wait to speak to a claims administrator. In the future, portals will be provided by insurers to give their customers instant access to the data they need. Portals will also allow customers to create a claim or to simply review their policy details.

These portals will also allow supervisors to easily access claim data out of the office. They may be notified of a claim that needs approving in order to be processed, or that one of their employees will be absent on a said day.

These measures open up the channels of communication between all parties, allowing questions to be answered more quickly and claims to be initiated and processed more efficiently. Two key prohibitions to implementing portals for use by insurers are the issue of legacy systems and the lack of integration that results. As technology advances, these issues will become more and more apparent. To remain competitive, insurers need to evaluate their current claims processing system to determine if it will satisfy their future needs.