The one trend that matters within benefits technology

As technology has rapidly advanced around us, leaders in the benefits market have scrambled to explain how their products have embraced the latest concepts. Articles on trends in benefit technology tend to focus on artificial intelligence, automation, gamification, personalisation and enhanced analytics, which are all interesting subjects in their own right.

However, the application of these concepts is still in their infancy and there's a long way to go before the industry is able to truly demonstrate their value.

That's not to say this functionality isn't available, but the rudimentary solutions rarely reflect the polished presentation shown at a conference or sales pitch. The benefits industry has frequently overpromised in this manner.

We constantly talk to users of leading benefit platforms. They are often frustrated that their current technology falls short of their expectations. As a result, we're seeing an increasing number of educated buyers who are focused on the core capabilities, simplicity and performance of their benefits platform. The message from the market is clear; "we don't want more functionality, we want the existing functionality to be radically better".

Specialising in selling complexity

The truth is that the benefits industry has specialised in selling complexity for over a decade. High implementation fees have been justified by the amount of time it takes to configure complex benefit schemes. Expensive outsourced administration has been used to plaster over system limitations. Slow and complicated user interfaces have both hindered employee engagement and frustrated administrators.

That's why in the short term there is only one trend that will matter; simplification.

Benefits technology will become quicker and simpler to implement, with significantly lower implementation costs. It will become simpler and more pleasing to use, ensuring employees are effectively engaged and administrators aren't left pulling out their hair. It will also become fundamentally simpler to connect to other systems and extract meaningful information, recognising that benefits platforms often sit on the periphery of technology ecosystems. These improvements will deliver tangible value to employers and employees alike.

Benefit technology providers can continue to ignore this fundamental client requirement at their own peril. Those that deliver the radically improved and simplified experience that is demanded by the market, supported by a modern data structure, will also be best positioned to take full advantage of new innovative technologies.

However, those that pay it lip service, tinkering with the user experience or offering new features on top of outdated platforms, will quickly fall behind.

This article was provided by Staffcare. 

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