4IR is the integration of digital technology into our daily lives at a more involved and intentional level. It’s the consolidation of components that would previously have been stand-alone. Picture: EPA/Laurent Gillieron
4IR is the integration of digital technology into our daily lives at a more involved and intentional level. It’s the consolidation of components that would previously have been stand-alone. Picture: EPA/Laurent Gillieron

What it means to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution in your business

By Time of article published Dec 10, 2021

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Christiaan Steyn

If terms such as 'artificial intelligence', 'telematics', 'robotics', 'the Internet of Things' and 'cloud computing' are part of your daily conversations, you've clearly embraced the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

4IR is the integration of digital technology into our daily lives at a more involved and intentional level. It’s the consolidation of components that would previously have been stand-alone. For example, 15 years ago one would use a phone and a GPS separately.

Now GPS is integrated into mobile phones. And through bringing the two together, there is greater value achievable since additional services can be offered. The digital age is continuously evolving at a rapid pace and those left behind are definitely missing out on its convenience.

The trendy Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, and Gen Z, born after 1996, are increasingly embracing the human-machine symbiosis by linking these innovations to their daily activities in some shape or form.

For example, their exercise routines are monitored digitally, and are synchronised to heartbeat monitors on their watches, which then synchronise the data with their music selections – and so it goes on. Basically, technology is an intentional extension of their personalities and everything they do is generally digitised. Except for one thing: their driving.

However, smart telematics services give these restless and energetic generations an opportunity to be in the driving seat (excuse the pun!) by adding their driving to their 4IR profile. This is achieved by linking their motoring activity to their motor insurance profile – and ultimately to their bank account balance.

A smart device links their cars to a mobile app from their insurer, which then builds their driving profile and rewards them according to their driving behaviour. For instance, the less they drive, the less they pay on their insurance premiums.

Linking telematics and motor insurance in one’s 4IR profile is designed to be appealing to busy and active customers, who find paperwork tedious.

For starters, these drivers essentially determine their own monthly premiums through Behaviour Based Insurance. There is also an element of improved security. For example, if the customer crashes in the middle of nowhere, the insurer becomes aware because the app sends an alert to the insurer’s emergency call centre and they are able to dispatch assistance to the last known location should the customer be unresponsive. This can be a life saver in a case of a medical or security emergency.

There is also a sense of credibility involved between the customer and the insurer in the sense that, should there be a query on the billing, for instance, there would be a track record of their driving during the particular time period that could be used to confirm the bill.

This is where a ground-breaking insurance solution fills the void for these busy bodies.

The trend of linking the driving experience of the modern insurance customer to telematics is gaining steam. The Gen Z and Millennials, being a digitally inquisitive bunch by nature, never want to be left behind. Besides the appeal of merging their driving experience with technology for fashionable convenience, they also want the comfort of being well insured for any eventuality by means of telematics on their mobile devices.

Technological advancements and improved connectivity in South Africa make it a more viable option today and the future of digital insurance is expected to be brighter.

Digital insurance is primed to shake up the industry – literally, at the touch of a smartphone button. While it hasn’t been viable in the past, this has changed over the past few years with the incredible growth in smartphone ownership and usage in South Africa. The consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic, more specifically the behavioural changes it caused, fast-tracked the telematics roll-out and adoption in the car insurance industry.

Speaking on this automated bond between the customer and the insurer through telematics and its future, customer relations expert and Senior Area Vice President for Emerging Markets at Salesforce, Robin Fisher, says: “The aim of digital transformation must be to enhance long-term customer service and relationships.

“In this all-digital world we now live in, customer expectations will only continue to rise. Providing 24/7 service from anywhere, they can make customer journeys more convenient; greater wellness initiatives will help clients to reach their full potential. And, importantly, investing in intelligence will help companies make smarter decisions and scale as they grow.”

Christiaan Steyn is the Head of MiWay Blink.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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