Organic Growth, Changing Customer Demand Top Catalysts for Independent Agency and Brokerage Technology Investments

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Applied Systems' technology survey findings deliver insights on priority technology investments and growth in business intelligence

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Applied Systems today revealed the results of its Applied Net Technology Survey, which explores insurance technology trends and technology spending priorities within the insurance industry. The survey encompasses responses from more than 100 insurance professionals who attended Applied Net 2014, the largest global independent agency and brokerage technology conference.

“Digital technology is driving 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,” said Reid French, chief executive officer, Applied Systems. “This survey further showcases the growing appetite for advanced technology solutions from agencies and brokerages to strengthen their competitive position, organically grow their businesses, and better meet expectations for multichannel engagement – anywhere, anytime – from today’s insurance consumers.”

Technology Investment Trends
Based on this study, organic growth (55%), changing customer demand (54%), and competition (48%) are the top factors driving independent agency and brokerage technology investments.

  • 60% of respondents indicated agency or brokerage management system updates as the highest-priority technology investment area
  • In line with the need to meet changing consumer demand, 47% of respondents indicated online client self-service as a top technology investment area; similarly, 37% of respondents cited mobile technology as a top investment priority

Growth and Productivity Gains
Forward-thinking agencies and brokerages today continuously evaluate and evolve their customer service models, products and services, and operational processes to ensure productivity, client growth, and overall business profitability. When considering technologies that drive growth and productivity, participants indicated:

  • Standardized agency and brokerage management workflows (64%) deliver the greatest value
  • Client self-service offerings (44%), cloud technology (33%), mobile technology (32%), and business intelligence applications (27%) also were recognized as technology areas with the greatest potential for positive impact on the business

Focus on Business Intelligence Grows
Big Data and business intelligence strategies are producing improved productivity rates and profitability among key industry stakeholders.

  • According to the Applied Net Technology Survey, 58% of respondents indicated staff productivity as the most important business insight to be derived from a business intelligence application
  • Similarly, the two biggest perceived benefits of implementing a business intelligence application are identifying growth opportunities (46%) and 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,” said Michael Howe, senior vice president of Product Management, 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. Additionally, the implementation of business intelligence applications will quickly deliver the insights desired by agency and brokerage executives to extend current client portfolios, as well as identify new geographical markets to further expand their client base.”

Learn more about Applied Net and attending Applied Net 2015, Oct. 19 – 22, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nev. here.

Note to editors:
The survey of 106 insurance professionals was conducted via the Applied Net mobile app at the Applied Net 2014 conference from September 15 – 18 in Orlando, Fla.

About Applied Systems
Applied Systems is a leading provider of software that powers the business of insurance. Applied is recognized as a pioneer in agency and brokerage management systems and data exchange between agencies, brokers, carriers and their clients. Automating the insurance lifecycle for more than 140,000 insurance professionals, 12,000 agencies and brokerages, and 350 carriers worldwide, Applied enables millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most.

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Courtney Rains