By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
The newly established Insurance Institute of Botswana (IIB) said Information and Communication Technology is the way to go if insurance companies were to survive in this ever-changing business landscape. Speaking to Biztechafrica, the interim head of the organisation, Dzikamani Nganunu, said ICT was one among a raft of proposals that IIB was putting down as its cornerstone for launching.
Nganunu said in this day and age it was virtually impossible for organisations, insurance companies included; to operate without incorporating ICT in every facet of their operations.
Today we can see revolution in communication world where almost everybody has begun to use PCs and Internet for Business and free time to communicate with each other, to exchange data like images, sound, documents and sometimes to talk to each other using relevant applications like Net meeting or internet phone.
“With technology being in every facet of business, the insurance industry will better placed to get into the internet of things and take advantage of the ease of doing business which is brought about by ICT. As the insurance institute however, we will not be responsible for the day to day running of insurance companies but we will definitely encourage companies to get hooked to the use of technology,” said Nganunu.
Pundits in the insurance technology space point to attacks elsewhere as warning signals for local insurance companies to take contingence measures to safeguard against attacks. “The attacks on companies like Sony, Home Depot, and Target over the past year show that many hackers have eschewed smash-and-grab attacks for campaigns that are highly targeted and explicitly designed to extract huge amounts of data over a period of time.
In many of the attacks, hackers used convincing spear-phishing campaigns to drop malware on targeted systems and gain an initial foothold on a corporate network. In other attacks, like the ones at Target and Home Depot, hackers used login credentials stolen from third parties to gain access to their victims’ networks.”
Other say the challenge for health insurers lies in infrastructure. As they start integrating platforms to capture more data, many find that healthcare systems and connectivity are fragmented. A lack of infrastructure to capture data is the biggest challenge for most people. In an industry that has been largely dominated by paper-based transactions, electronic documents are still evolving.
“The relationship between business and IT is often a rocky one riddled with tension, misunderstanding, and broken communication. As technology permeates insurance organizations, the traditionally separate groups must collaborate and compromise on decisions that affect business growth,” added Nganunu.