Organic growth, changing customer demand and competition are the top factors driving independent agency and brokerage technology investments, according to results from Applied Systems’ Applied Net Technology Survey.
Taken from the responses of more than 100 insurance professionals who attended Applied Net 2014 from Sept. 15-18 in Orlando, Fla., the survey reveals a growing appetite for advanced technology solutions to better meet the expectations for multichannel engagement, according to the software provider's CEO, Reid French.
“Digital technology is driving the fundamental and rapid shifts in consumer behavior, and changing demographics—including the economic and professional arrival of the millennial generation—are only accelerating this shift,” French says.
Among the key survey findings:
Technology Investment Trends
Organic growth (55%), changing customer demand (54%), and competition (48%) are the top factors driving independent agency and brokerage technology investments.
Agency or brokerage management system updates rank as the No. 1 priority for three out of five respondents, followed by client self-service (47%) and mobile technology (37%).
Growth and Productivity Gains
Forward-thinking agencies continually evaluate and evolve their operational processes, customer service models, products and services to ensure productivity, client growth and overall business profitability, Applied Systems states. When considering technologies that drive growth and productivity:
Standardized brokerage and agency management workflows deliver the greatest value, according to nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%).
Client self-service offerings (44%), cloud technology (33%), mobile technology (32%) and business intelligence applications (27%) also are recognized as tech areas with potential for positive impacts on agencies and brokerages.
Focus on Business Intelligence Grows
A business-intelligence application delivers the most insight into staff productivity, according to 58% of the respondents.
Nearly half (46%) of respondents say identifying opportunities for growth also is a benefit of a business intelligence application, followed by increasing staff productivity (23%).
“Data growth and availability continues at an exponential rate, which is creating a wealth of untapped information that can deliver new insights into business operations, potential new markets, client retention and business opportunities,” says Michael Howe, senior vice president of product management at Applied Systems. “These findings clearly demonstrate growing agency and broker interest in business intelligence applications to improve business operations and ensure the greatest level of staff productivity.”