Asia’s Insurers to Focus on Customer Experience in 2012

Singapore and Hong Kong – November 30, 2011 – Insurers are facing increasingly savvy, demanding and capricious customers. IDC Financial Insights predicts that to better manage client relationships in 2012, insurers in Asia/Pacific will be thinking more strategically about organizing, synchronizing and consolidating disparate customer information to create a "single version of the truth". They will also be making investments in analytics to gain deeper insights into their policyholders and to tailor-make more appropriate products and customer experiences.

More findings are revealed in a forthcoming IDC Financial Insights report, “Asia/Pacific Insurance 2012 Top 10 Predictions: Strategic Initiatives for Insurers to Carpe Diem”, which delineates IDC Financial Insights' predictions on 10 core business, operational, and technology strategic initiatives required for insurers to seize the day.

"As the very real possibility of another global downturn casts a pall over Asia/Pacific's insurance sector, we see even greater urgency for players to forge ahead with a dynamic and lean business framework supported by the smart utilization of technology," remarks Li-May Chew, CFA, Associate Research Director for IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific.

"Strategic initiatives that will enable insurers to carpe diem, or make the most out of the current situation as we venture guardedly into 2012 include: focusing on data integration and analysis to boost customer experiences, innovating and delivering on a multichannel model, demonstrating proactive risk stewardship in light of escalating regulatory and compliance requirements, optimizing on business transformation initiatives, and raising productivity and allegiance of the agency force," states Chew.

She adds, "Insurers will also be deeply engrossed in countering fraudulent activities, working on enhancing core insurance applications, and diversifying into ancillary lines of businesses. Meanwhile, we predict technology spending to grow 5-10% in 2012. In countries where regulations do not restrict its use, some of this spending would be channeled into cost-effective technology architectures such as cloud computing."

Insurers that wish to prosper during the turbulent times in 2012 would do well by having clear management actions to: refresh their customer focus, re-invent distribution and reduce capital expenditures, drive innovation in product design, review the product mix, and capture new opportunities (particularly within niche segments such as health, pension and microinsurance, which have the potential to become big business propositions).

On the technology front, IDC Financial Insights recommends that insurers reconfigure their projects into smaller iterations and redirect resources to CRM-related initiatives, ensure that their IT teams speak the same language as the business divisions, and, engage with vendors regularly to ensure that their performance is closely managed and monitored.

For more information about this report, “Asia/Pacific Insurance 2012 Top 10 Predictions: Strategic Initiatives for Insurers to Carpe Diem” (forthcoming), please contact Sheryl Fuertez at +65-6829-7758 or sfuertez @idc.com. To set up an interview with Li-May Chew, contact Lay Fang Tan at lftan@idc.com.

About IDC’s Predictions

IDC’s annual Predictions in Asia/Pacific draws upon the latest IDC research and a worldwide brainstorming exercise among IDC’s 1000+ analysts. This was followed by an extensive regional review to weigh in on key industry events, user trends, vendor strategies and economic measures that promises to uniquely define the technology trends that would impact and drive the market in Asia/Pacific for 2012. Across the globe, following the release of IDC’s global top ten predictions, IDC’s geographic, technology and industry teams will be releasing their own specific predictions in the coming months. For more information, visit www.idc.asia/microsites/predictions/2012.

About IDC Financial Insights

IDC Financial Insights assists financial service businesses and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the banking, insurance, and securities and investments industries. International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology market. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology, media, research, and events company. For more information, please visit www.idc-fi.com, email info@idc-fi.com, or call 508-620-5533. Visit the IDC Financial Insights Community at http://idc-insights-community.com/financial.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 47 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.