The technology tool box: how technology can help small businesses thrive
Digital disruption has been kind to start-ups – creating an environment that’s conducive to innovation and growth. Look at how successful and ubiquitous companies like Uber, AirBnB and Alibaba have become in a few short years – all because they tapped into the advantages that digital disruption has to offer.
Digital tools can also help small businesses thrive. They offer you a way to assess and lower business risks by identifying areas where your business may need added protection.
Discovery Business Insurance, for example, combines technology with big data to create real insights to measure risk and the health of your business. This advanced risk-assessment technology consists of:
- Drone technology to assess the business premises,
- Thermal imaging to detect potential and existing electrical faults,
- Online tools to self-assess risk and behaviours that could affect your business growth, and
- Smart glasses technology to facilitate the real-time analysis of your business risks by a team of expert risk engineers.
So how can these technologies benefit your business, your clients and your insurer?
Benefits for your business
Discovery Insure CEO Anton Ossip says: “The use of available technologies to assess risks will allow insurers to gather more accurate and more detailed data about the risks your business may face.”
This data will provide you with deep insights into your business, allowing you to anticipate problems that could arise before they happen. It will show you where you need to improve your risk management and what measures to put in place to avoid interruptions to your business. Ultimately, these technologies can improve the sustainability of your business.
Benefits for your clients
“Improved sustainability of the business means that your clients can continue to enjoy the services and products you offer for many years to come,” Ossip continues.
This is important to clients that may be dependent on these services and products. For example, your client may be a local baker who gets his flour supply from your business. Any interruptions to your business would lead to losses for the local baker as well.
Benefits for your insurer
“Our technology enables us to get a view of areas that humans would ordinarily not be able to reach, and so allows us to collect more accurate data about the risks of the business,” Ossip explains.
For example, thermal imaging helps to detect electrical faults in distribution boards and electrical connections that would otherwise not be visible to the human eye. Smart glasses technology enables risk assessors to draw from a skills base from across the country. Engineers are able to connect with the team remotely from any location in the country to facilitate quicker decision making for brokers and clients.
The online self-assessment tool allows businesses (or their brokers) to do their own self-assessment quickly and conveniently.
“All of this enables businesses to understand their risks better and improve their risk management, resulting in reduced risk exposure and lower claims for the insurer and thereby improving the sustainability of the insurer for all their clients,” Ossip says.
How has technology changed the nature of risk and how it is assessed?
To assess and manage these risks, you need expert knowledge in the field. “At Discovery Business Insurance, we believe that it’s important for our clients to understand all the risks facing their business,” Ossip says. “This is the first step to helping businesses improve their risk management.”
Ossip says: “This is why we have partnered with many experts. One example is our partnership with an IT service provider, AVeS Cyber Security, to offer cyber risk assessments and cyber protection packages at discounted rates so that our clients can protect their computer systems from the threat of cyber-attacks.”
Human constraints are making it more difficult to assess the evolving risks that businesses face today. “Advanced risk assessment technology makes it possible to understand and assess these risks so that businesses have the tailored protection they need,” Ossip says in conclusion. “By using this technology, we can offer efficient and effective risk management solutions to our clients and brokers.” Are you aware of all the risks in your business? Know and tackle them with the help of technology and experts in the field of risk assessment for a strong and sustainable business.
About business insurance from Discovery
We understand that different businesses have different needs. That's why we give you comprehensive, yet flexible, insurance cover that is tailored to your business and considers the business risks you face in a modern, fast-paced world. You'll get business insurance that is driven by technology and built on a model that shares value for managing your business well. Through our partnership with Endeavor South Africa you'll have access to a diagnostic tool that will help you identify key areas of development so that you can grow your business. In addition, you will get access to service providers, at a preferential rate, who can help your business develop in the right direction. To find out more, speak to your broker or contact us and we will help you.
Discovery Insure's Impact Alert sends help when you need it most
Wish you had the technology to call for help when you most need it? Discovery Insure's Impact Alert feature can detect when you've been in an accident. If we can't get hold of you immediately, we'll send emergency assistance to your location, while our Vehicle panic button can be used to alert emergency services when you're in your car and need help.
In South Africa’s entrepreneurial landscape, good financial planning is important when it comes to making small businesses not simply survive, but thrive.