Nigel Walsh, the new managing director, U.S. Insurance for Google Cloud, has an ambitious goal for his new job.
“My mission, together with the rest of the team, is clear,” Walsh said. “We want to establish Google Cloud as the No. 1 destination and de facto standard for insurers, carriers, ISVs [independent software vendors] and InsurTechs when it comes to the business of insurance.”
Walsh has been in the InsurTech space for some time. The new Google executive is a veteran of Deloitte Digital, where he focused on driving InsurTech, digital and overall technology transformation. He’s also co-hosted the InsurTech Insider podcast for the last few years and has developed a following.
Carrier Management Editor Mark Hollmer asked him about goals and expectations for his new job and where he hopes Google will be in relation to the insurance industry in the months ahead. His responses are below.
Q: Why Google?
Walsh: I mean first, it’s Google! I don’t think there is a cooler company on the planet, is there?
When you manufacture data and it’s the most important thing in making underwriting, pricing and claims decisions, it’s helping you predict, understand and avoid insurable and catastrophic events in the first place. To harness data in such a way, you need to be in a place that can organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Add to that an industry that connects millions of devices and understands customers. There are nine products here with over a billion active users. That has to say we know how to engage.
Now turn that support to carriers, brokers and agents to help them serve and engage their clients and customers better, smarter and more effectively than ever before. I could not be more excited!
Q: What will you be tasked with doing and focusing on?
Walsh: For me and the team in the United States, we’ll be focused on establishing critical relationships with our Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners and the InsurTech community that collectively provide the opportunity for insurers to transform at pace, using the scale, insight and know-how of Google Cloud.
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish longer term?
Walsh: Ah, the billion-dollar question! Actually, if you look to the great momentum and cloud adoption we have seen in banking already with Deutsche Bank, HSBC, BNY Mellon, BBVA and more—it’s a great indicator of things to come within the financial services vertical at Google Cloud. I envision the insurance industry to follow suit and create technology innovation to help our customers.
Q: What do you see Google Cloud contributing to the insurance sphere?
Walsh: We are setting out to do a couple of things to help change the insurance business for the better.
We are empowering insurers with Google Cloud tools, like artificial intelligence and data and analytics, to create personal experiences for their customers. With the help of these technologies, insurers can automate and accelerate claims processes, pull new and valuable insights quickly to understand the needs of customers in real time, and more.
We can help insurers better manage their risk—capturing market share, entering new markets and providing customers with superior risk management. For example, tools like Google Cloud’s Document AI automate and validate documents to streamline compliance workflows, reduce guesswork, and keep data accurate and compliant.
Google Cloud’s tools help insurers to unlock data as an asset and give insurers the benefit of having access and control of their data. For example, Apigee‘s API tools simplify and accelerate secure delivery of data across various insurance systems, giving insurers easier ways to access their data and unlock value.
Q: Will the insurance industry embrace what Google Cloud brings to the table?
Walsh: Without a doubt. Some may have been on a journey already, some may just be starting, but I firmly believe that there is opportunity with every client to help find and unlock new opportunities together, transforming the industry for the better.
Q: Will you continue your podcast?
Walsh: Absolutely. Can’t wait to keep going!