The future of artificial intelligence (AI) in the insurance workplace is not one of efficiency versus jobs. As our Future Workforce Insurance Survey shows, AI will enable collaboration between technology and employees. Insurers will achieve cost savings, but growth will be a much greater benefit—and most executives expect a net gain in employment. Insurance company employees, on the other hand, expect AI to create opportunities for them and to improve their work-life balance. But there’s still a disconnect. The senior executives surveyed believe, on average, only one in four employees is ready to work with AI. And while almost 50 percent cite the growing skills gap as the number-one factor influencing their workforce strategy, only 4 percent plan to significantly increase their investment in reskilling programs in the next three years.

To benefit from the immense potential of AI, insurers cannot simply apply it in an incremental, piecemeal fashion. Executives recognize that it will rapidly transform their organization and their industry. It follows that they need an enterprise strategy and enterprise-level leadership dedicated to AI. They also need a different type of workforce: one that is capable of implementing AI, and of working in tandem with intelligent solutions to develop new sources of value.

It’s time to start planning and developing the insurance workforce of the future.

Insurers that invest in AI and human-machine collaboration at the same rate as top-performing businesses could boost their revenue by an average 17 percent and their employment by 7 percent by 2022.
67 percent of insurance CXOs agree adopting AI will be critical to their organization’s ability to differentiate in the market.
52 percent of CXOs say human-machine collaboration is important to achieve their strategic priorities.
25 percent of banking CXOs believe only 1 in 4 of their workforce is ready to work with intelligent technologies.
4 percent of insurers plan to significantly increase their investment in reskilling programs in the next 3 years.

The Future Workforce Insurance Survey

Accenture Research spoke with more than 1,200 CEOs and top executives working with AI. We also surveyed more than 14,000 workers spanning four generations and representing all skill levels. The research covered 12 industries and 11 countries and included interviews with people working with AI daily. The insurance sample comprised 100 CEOs and top executives and almost 1,000 insurance employees, all at large organizations.

The study found that 75 percent of insurers plan to use AI to automate tasks to a large or very large extent in the next three years. Sixty-eight percent believe it will result in a net gain in jobs in their organization over that period. Employees too have a positive outlook—68 percent expect intelligent technologies to create opportunities for their work.

"The skill set of employees will be the most crucial determinant of the rapid acceptance of intelligent technology."

– CEO, Japanese Insurance Company

Applied Intelligence will demand a very different insurance workforce

Digitalization, until now, has impacted groups of people in different parts of the organization. Applied intelligence—our term for using a set of AI tools in combination with human ingenuity, across the enterprise, to solve complex challenges, develop new products and break into and create new markets—will be much more pervasive. It will require dedicated leadership at the highest level and a cross-enterprise strategy with long-term budgeting. It also demands a workforce significantly different than that which is found in most insurers today.

The change will take a concerted, thoughtful and ongoing effort. How can business leaders achieve this scale of transformation, providing a cross-enterprise framework for AI and elevating their workforce to create new value through human-machine collaboration? Our research points to three key actions:

Reimagine work to better understand how machines and people can collaborate.
Pivot the workforce to areas that create new forms of value.
Scale up new skilling to enable people to work with intelligent machines.

Learn more about what senior insurance executives and employees are thinking and doing with regard to artificial intelligence. Read how roles and tasks are likely to change as people start to work more collaboratively with intelligent machines. And find out what the key steps are to developing the insurance workforce of the future. It’s all in our report: Future Workforce Survey - Insurance. Register here to download it right away.

Short report – Audiobook

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Listen to overview of the Future Workforce Survey for insurance.

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Andrew Woolf

Global Lead – Talent & Organization for Financial Services


Future Workforce Survey—Banking
Missing middle skills for Human-AI collaboration

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