The journey towards a more Robotic future

Curium | 13 Mar 2017 | News | General

I started my working life in the insurance industry in 1978. In those days, computer technology was in its infancy, but change was on its way. Some people feared the worst, worried that machines would take away their jobs.

Roles did change, with new skills required, but the biggest change came in the ability to deliver service more quickly; bringing with it an uplift in customer expectations.

Fast forward and digital disruption is changing many things about the way we live and work.

Today, it is hard to imagine getting through a single day without some form of technology.

[The degree to which we have each progressed along the digital disruption route varies. While I am enthusiastic about the simplification and speed with which new technologies can enhance our lives, my children point out that I still struggle to operate the television!]

We have all become much more demanding as consumers. Digital disruption has fed our hunger for 24/7 access and service, with immediate delivery of expectations.

For example, I read about New York-based insurer Lemonade, which successfully settled a household claim within nine seconds. It achieved this using smart robotics and AI to capture the full claim details, validate the essential features and settle the claim without any direct human intervention.

I wonder how other organisations are progressing along the journey towards a more robotic and AI-influenced digital environment? What are the challenges being faced from both a technological and people development, and engagement perspective? Has the journey even commenced?

There are many whitepapers, reports and predictions about the urgent need to embrace the digital world. Technology providers offer a range of solutions to assist organisations in their journey towards this digital panacea. But how do you know what is right for your organisation?

What change are you trying to bring about? How will this essential transformation impact your people and the skills they need to perform in the new world? What do your current and future customers expect?

My Curium colleague and fellow operational excellence specialist Emma Taylor talked about the importance of getting the basics right to customer service strategy. Too often, an organisation will reach for the shiny new product as a ‘fix’ for problems that have deep roots and require a different or more holistic response.

At Curium, we know that digital has a big part to play in how organisations and their people change and adapt. We are working with University of Birmingham MBA students to research how technology, AI and robotics will change the nature of work within contact centres, along with the challenges of up-skilling staff and leaders alike.

It would be great to engage with interested parties to understand the progress made and insights gained to date. Please let me know if you are interested in getting involved at

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