Tata Consultancy Services supports mission critical tech
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic has created significant global challenges that have caused widespread disruption. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) believes “that all global challenges need global solutions. We are engaged with our employees, clients, partners, public institutions, and community organisations to rise to the occasion. As the world comes together to fight this, human endeavor and ingenuity will surely prevail over this crisis,” comments TCS.
Continuing its support of mission critical technology
As a leading technology provider, TCS works with thousands of organisations around the world in order to keep them up and running.
“We power the financial backbones of several countries, support some of the largest health care and pharmacy companies in the world, manage integrated systems – including online channels – for retail companies, and run technology for governments and public services organisations. The smooth functioning of all these organisations will be vital during a period of lockdown and social distancing,” adds TCS.
With 50 years of experience in location independent work practices, TCS has the capabilities to deploy collaboration platforms, cloud enabled infrastructure and robust security practices to mitigate the challenges presented by COVID-19. “Our clients have trusted TCS to manage their technology. We will continue to keep earning their trust by working together to navigate these difficult times.”
Currently TCS has pledged over US$200mn to protect and empower those affected by the impact of COVID-19, and is working closely with governments and institutional partners. “We are continuously engaged with government authorities, industry chambers and multilateral organisations to support them in ensuring the safety of communities, while keeping critical services operational. Governments in the countries where we operate recognize the IT sector as mission critical in powering functional economies. We are in touch with public institutions to ensure continuity on all fronts.” TCS is also a strategic partner to the World Economic Forum as part of its COVID-19 action platform.
In addition to its financial pledge and engagement with governments and institutional partners, Tata Sons and Tata Trusts have pledged US$200mn to protect and empower affected communities. The pledge will include the supply of personal protective equipment for frontline medical personnel, respiratory systems, testing kits, modular treatment facilities and training for health workers and the general public.
Combating COVID-19 with technology
Drawing on its experience in research and innovation, TCS has been utilising its knowledge to deliver disruptive solutions and technology. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, TCS has been leveraging its R&D infrastructure to run multiple projects looking for opportunities to support high priority needs around the world.
“The foremost priority lies in the area of healthcare and vaccine research. Some of our initiatives include the COVID-19 patient tracker, creating a quick and light platform for clinical trials systems to rapidly collate effectiveness data in collaboration with pharma and medical institutions, drug molecule discovery using our patented technology and frameworks and exploring promising ideas for affordable and effective ventilators and kits. These represent just some of the ways we are harnessing our expertise to fight this virus.”
Insurtechs are winning the race with legacy system companies
Nestled in its own place within the world of financial services, insurance is arguably more unpopular than retail banking.
That’s hardly surprising given that, from a customer service perspective, insurance is something of an off-kilter transaction. You pay a sizable premium in exchange for a service you hope you will never have to use. This image problem is exacerbated by ubiquitous tales of insurers not paying out when it is time to make a claim.
The insurance sector has long been due to an overhaul, and this is where the disruptive force of insurtech comes in - one of fintech’s most upwardly mobile subcategories. Accordingly, last year, insurtech in the UK alone attracted £262m in investment, a growth of 60% on 2019, according to Tech Nation. Insurtech’s momentous growth has been captured in a new report by The AI Journal exploring this burgeoning sector.
What exactly is insurtech?
Put simply, insurtech refers to technological innovations that seek to make insurance cheaper to buy and more efficient to use. In a similar vein to fintech, the large, established institutions have been dipping their toes into insurtech, but it’s the disruptors who are genuinely looking to shake up the status quo, diving into and exploiting those areas that traditionalists have little imperative to explore.
Examples are price comparison sites (one of the earliest forms of insurtech that was eventually snapped up by the insurers it initially sought to disrupt), claims software, customisable policies, or even smart-tech-enabled dynamic policies whose premiums can fluctuate depending on changing circumstances.
The latter, for instance, could use someone’s fitness tracker or smartwatch to monitor fitness levels, thus reducing the premium of a life insurance policy; or track a GPS system that records the location of a car and assesses risk levels accordingly.
Most consumers tend to shop around for their insurance needs and perhaps end up buying their contents insurance with one provider, their car insurance with someone else, and their pet insurance with yet another underwriter. Managing all these different policies, with their varying renewal dates and payment terms can be complex. This has led to the increase in apps that pull everything together.
More prosaically, insurtechs are developing AI that uses machine learning to act as an insurance broker, eliminating the need for a human intermediary and therefore offering more cost-effective and impartial advice.
Insurtechs and risk
But there are some obstacles in the way of insurtech’s continued evolution.
Insurance companies are averse to risk. Understandably so, as at the crux of the industry is the role of the actuary, whose job it is to analyse and measure the probability and risk of future events. So it’s little wonder that there’s a reluctance among the traditional players to welcome the disruption that insurtech brings.
Insurance is heavily regulated, a minefield of legality and labyrinthine jurisdiction, which means the idea of shaking it up can be anathema. And why would they, when their old-school business models are working perfectly fine?
There’s an understandable nervousness and unwillingness to work with startups, who themselves need to work with the bigger firms in order to underwrite risk.
While it seems like a catch-22 situation, there is growing, if cautious, interest from insurance companies, who can see the benefits of insurance with a friendlier face, innovative solutions, and a competitive edge through differentiation. As that tentativeness dissipates, the growth of insurtech will gather even more momentum.
Tom Allen's analysis is based on the findings of a new report on the fintech and insurtech industries produced by The AI Journal.