8 May 2018Analysis

Data management key for growth in employee benefits sector, claims survey

Three quarters of employee benefits professional believe the enhance use of data and the application of innovative technologies to improve the employee experience are the primary growth opportunities for the employee benefits sector globally over the next two years.

This is according to the inaugural MAXIS Global Perspectives report, from MAXIS GBN, the employee benefits joint venture between MetLife and AXA. It reveals the majority of sector professionals are bullish about the opportunities presented by innovative data management technologies and new digital processes.

Other findings include 81 percent of sector professionals seeing the application of data and implementation of new technologies as the drivers most likely to shape product and service offerings in the future.

49 percent of respondents said they are planning to invest in data and digital tools to make the process of providing employee benefits simpler and more efficient.

Cost was considered the biggest concern by 79 percent of respondents, with the increasing price of employee benefits solutions identified as the number one barrier preventing the development of better global employee benefits provision.

Furthermore, 72 percent of the employee benefits professionals said their current arrangements are based around a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy, yet 44 percent noted that a one-size-fits-all strategy is now seen as inappropriate for the changing needs of their employees.

The majority of respondents (81 percent) said they have developed or are developing specific plans to adapt to the future benefit demands of employees, highlighting the need for flexible schemes designed around individual needs (46 percent) and employee ‘build your own’ schemes (42 percent).

“Our Global Perspectives research highlights the fact that the future of employee benefits is going to be driven by digital technologies and expanded data sets. In addition, while many multinationals are looking at and increasingly implementing global solutions to cut costs and manage risks more effectively the pull towards more localised, tailored programmes remains significant. The challenge and opportunity will be for businesses to build programmes that capitalise on global solutions where applicable, but also offer the range of local benefits that employees are looking for and value the most," said Mauro Dugulin, CEO of MAXIS GBN.

“This need for global and local solutions has a common denominator: better management of the underlying data and translating it through powerful digital processes in ways that improve transparency, help deliver tangible cost benefits and allow all stakeholders in the employee benefits chain to manage and price risks more diligently. We believe that companies who position themselves at the forefront of these trends will be the ones that get the most out of their employee benefits programmes.”