Hyper-automation, Digital Health and the Changing World of Work in Times of the Corona Pandemic
HHL and CLIC publish in insurance magazin Zeitschrift für Versicherungswesen
Economic activity is characterised by imponderables and crises, which have led to developments that have brought about sometimes abrupt and far-reaching changes. The COVID 19 pandemic has left the world economy in a state of shock, and although the trigger is not the system as itself, the consequences nevertheless reveal weaknesses and systematic vulnerabilities in the global economic mechanisms. In the future, the insurance industry must also be able to react ad hoc and flexibly to dynamic events.
Trends such as hyper-automation, digital health and the changing world of work in times of the corona pandemic
After Simon Meier and Tim Mosig published their first article on “The Future of Insurance Companies – Perspectives for Business Model Innovation” together with Prof. Dr. Claudia Lehmann in December 2019 in the Zeitschrift für Versicherungswesen (ZfV), Tim Mosig and Simon Meier have worked together beyond his graduation at HHL and have now published the second article on “The Trends Hyperautomation, Digital Health and Change in the Working World under the COVID-19 Burning Lens” in the ZfV in July, 2020.
“Ultimately, it is people who decide on the selection and application of technology and its scaling – a good skilled workforce is needed here”.
Making the desired digital change sustainable itself
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies – including insurance companies – had to rapidly change their work organisation. New home office regulations, short-time work and yet still deliver a high quality of service – a challenging change that had to be managed in a short time. Insurance companies are needed as a reliable partner for customers, especially in such a phase. Now the question arises whether these changes will also provide the impetus for increased innovation activities and a strategically sensible use of current and promising technologies in the long term.
The article by Tim Mosig and Simon Meier is intended to provide a “best educated guess” based on the three selected trends hyperautomation, digital health and the change in the world of work and to show possible developments as a result of the pandemic and corresponding options for action. They looked at the company’s strategic orientation before and during the crisis as well as short and medium-term development trends in a wide range of social and economic areas.
The influence of Strategic Foresight on strategic decision-making processes in the insurance industry
Strategic Foresight requires well-described trends for continuous scanning, monitoring and evaluation of all developments with the appropriate balance between complexity and attention to detail in the selection of influencing factors. The selection factors of the three trends selected here relate to the relevance for the insurance industry, the visibility of the effects before the crisis, the relevance for the life realities of employees as well as customers, the expected sustainability of the effects with crisis-related amplification, and a focus on the topics of digital transformation and innovation.
“Because even the best technology can only be effective if it is used wisely.”
Digitization has been a megatrend for a long time and is one of the world’s most important IT strategic development trends in 2020, with the significance of automation, robotics and AI having been significantly increased, especially during the crisis. As a result of the crisis, large parts of business operations had to be converted at a speed previously unimaginable – within a few days, working from the home office and the necessary access to systems, data and processes could be established across the board as far as possible. The need for good technological equipment is once again evident here, and the insurance industry expects a digitalization push.
More efficiency, effectiveness and acceptance of and through digital applications
Even before the crisis, digital health was already receiving strong support from health-conscious people and, as a result of the crisis, it has increasingly become the central focus of life. Digital health care packages were more heavily used due to the effects of the pandemic. From the customer’s perspective, digital health solutions generate great benefits and create added value.
Not only the continuous technological change, but also new scientific findings and new working models are continuously causing changes in the world of work – with technological change being the main driver. Digital applications for communication and collaboration will also have long-term advantages and will be able to increasingly determine, simplify and make working life more efficient in the future.
Professor Lehmann holds the Chair of Digitial Innovation in Service Industries and the Executive Director of the Center for Leading Innovation and Cooperation (CLIC). She researches methods and tools for the development and delivery of digitally enabled services and business models.