Those in Insurtech, in particular, are watching the insurance industry’s already precarious relationship with clients take a nose-dive as individual consumers and businesses learn that their policies do not include coverage for the impacts of a global pandemic. Coupled with the fact that insurance companies are expected to pay out billions of dollars on policies that do include contagious disease coverage, will only add to the burden on the industry.
Insurtechs are capable of supporting insurance companies by helping them boost resilience to future pandemics through the development of better risk models for a global health crisis (which can then be used to underwrite coverage that is a smart business move for the insurer and offers protection for the client) and by helping firms to better understand data and how they can use that to their advantage. However, on a more basic level, Insurtechs can utilize developments in connectivity and the tech industry to better prepare providers for the next time a remote workforce is required.
The Growing Need for Remote Interactions
Remote Working and Connectivity
Coronavirus created a significant and immediate need for widespread remote interactions as the world complied with stay-at-home orders. For businesses, employing a remote workforce makes connectivity a more essential aspect of their day-to-day needs and has called to attention the demand for widespread 5G.
The fifth-generation mobile network, or 5G, is a new global wireless standard that boasts lightning-fast speeds, nearly instantaneous communication, and increased connection density. Telehealth and teleconferencing are critical services during a global pandemic, and some experts believe that our increased dependence in these areas will make 5G internet connectivity even more appealing.
As remote workforces become the new normal for all businesses, including SMB insurance companies, and your employees work outside the sophisticated office network, it is more important than ever to set up measures against cybercrime. Looming threats to your remote business include weakened security controls (such as firewall rules, email policy, and a lack of internet proxy), infrastructure attacks, malicious insiders and housemates, email scams, and well-intentioned creative solutions that go against normal security policies.
IoT(Internet of Things)
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), virtual desktops and the Cloud are playing vital roles in building an effective infrastructure for SMB insurance companies, as well as other businesses, during this time. VoIP will help businesses communicate by allowing employees to make and take calls from the office number, from anywhere in the world. This communicates reliability, professionalism, and stability to your clients as we all navigate these uncertain times. Virtual desktops allow employees to access their office desktop remotely, eliminating the need for additional desktops and decreasing the cost of desktop management and support. Additionally, the Cloud is playing a vital role because it makes virtual desktops, and therefore virtual work, possible. The Cloud will allow your business to increase security, scale your business, and provide flexibility to your employees while social distancing continues.
What is Connectivity?
Connectivity is a device’s ability to connect with other devices and systems. There are two types of connectivity features: wireless (Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC) and wired (USB, network cable, HDMI). The future of business lies in connectivity. In order to maintain or accelerate their success, companies will need to build connections between people and systems. For example, an insurance SMB will need to identify risks and illnesses before their patients do.
What is IoT Connectivity?
IoT connectivity offers the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The connectivity boom has allowed businesses to re-evaluate their strategy, tune in to and accommodate the needs of customers, offer new services, and operate more efficiently.
The Future of Connectivity
As we look forward to the future of connectivity, there is great possibility of on-demand drone deliveries, autonomous cars, VR technology, and efficient energy systems. Most likely, how we live and communicate will be virtually unrecognizable. However, it will require users to put their trust into the devices and network they use, with the expectation that their personal data will be properly secured. In order for this to happen, industries will have to come together and agree on security protocols and the foundation for that connectivity.
Why VoIP is Important
VoIP is a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls by sending voice data in packets via an IP address. This is an essential form of connectivity in that it allows you to make and take voice calls via a broadband Internet connection instead of an analog line. However, because VoIP relies on internet connectivity to work, it is vulnerable to the same problems that computers face, as well as issues specific to VoIP technology.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the importance of VoIP has grown, and businesses are scrambling to meet the needs of companies that transitioned to a virtual workforce practically overnight. For example, companies like Slack are rushing to bolster their VoIP capabilities since the pandemic hit. At April’s virtual Enterprise Connect, Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack, spoke about the company’s new integration with Microsoft Teams, which allows users to make Microsoft Teams calls. He also said that Slack will be launching more VoIP phone integrations with Zoom, Cisco, Jabber, RingCentral, and Dialpad.
Will Reliance on IoT Continue to Grow?
It is almost certain that our reliance on IoT will continue to grow. COVID-19 has given us a glimpse into the future as companies were forced to rapidly transition to a remote workforce and adapt their business models to succeed in new territory. Although unplanned, this boost in reliance on IoT is actually a benefit for those who were able to adapt. The integration of VoIP systems into an IoT gateway extends connectivity for IoT devices, offering businesses a competitive advantage over those who are still reliant on individual, physical entities. This exercise proved that they are capable of quickly responding to unforeseen circumstances and will continue to succeed as technology improves. Also, they are already prepared to work remotely, if, or rather when, it is needed in the future.