In the words of Heraclitus of Ephesus, a Greek philosopher from the 5th century BC, “There is nothing permanent except change”. That remains as true 25 centuries later as it was when he first wrote it. Any life and pension provider seeking to stay at the forefront of the business knows how true this is; the end of one innovation project merely marks the starting point for the next one. They say time and tide wait for no one, and the same is true for technology. The never-ceasing innovation in the technology sector drives change in the way we live our lives and our expectations of it; it is not going to stop anytime soon.
Likewise, customer demand is ceaselessly evolving. Driven by this constant whirlwind of change, the needs of customers of the financial services sector are in a constant state of flux. Companies that want to succeed know that they need to be endlessly innovating in order to meet this challenge.
Insurers have always been inclined to launch new products regularly, whether driven by their own internal strategy or in order to respond to the products that competitors were introducing into the market. But in recent years, staying at the front of the pack has required more than just exciting new products. It has meant radical changes in the methods of delivery of those products, and in the supporting services that are needed to sell and service them.
Technology has affected lifestyles most by changing consumer attitudes to the services they use. In the past, consumers expected that they would have to adjust to the way that products were sold, or services delivered - fitting in with the company’s processes established by the producer - now they expect businesses to fit in with their lifestyle. They expect to have access at times that suit them, not the supplier. They expect to be able to deal with the business from wherever they are, rather than having to turn up at the store or office. They want their goods delivered by Amazon rather than having to go out to the shopping centre to get them. They want their entertainment streamed to them by Netflix at a time and place that suits them rather than having to be at home at a certain time to watch it broadcast. In short, they expect businesses to fit their approach to suit the consumer, rather than have to adapt themselves to fit in with the business.
It is the massive growth in cloud-based technology that is fuelling the on-demand culture and that is set to transform how people do business with their financial services supplier in the years to come. It is also turbo-charging people’s expectations of the levels of service they should expect from anyone whom they are buying products or services from, including financial providers.
The winners in the future will be those with vision; the vision to create the new products and establish the new services that will fulfil the needs of this more demanding consumer base. And right now, many companies are already designing the products and services of the future that will ensure that they are the key choice for customers, not just this year but next year and beyond.
These providers realise that innovation is not a one-off project; it is a mindset that needs to permeate the entire organisation. There is no end destination, just a journey whose direction will change over time as new technologies create new opportunities aligned with new customer behaviours that generate new needs.
The problem is that limitations to change are often imposed by the infrastructure that we use to support these services. Today’s breakthrough enabling technology could end up as tomorrow’s manacles that shackle the organisation to a particular set of products or business processes when their competitors are racing into the markets with new innovations. Insurance providers need highly adaptive technology solutions that go on enabling them to reconfigure their products and services to meet the changing demands of the consumer.
At Majesco, we are constantly innovating to ensure that our solutions can provide our customers with the resources they need to sustain their own innovation. We believe that by providing LifePlus Solutions as cloud-based solutions for those life and pensions providers who create products for individual consumers, it gives those providers a platform to develop the new products and services they require to meet their customers’ individual needs.
Our component-based product design enables LifePlus Solutions to continually evolve, providing the perfect platform for the life and pensions provider into the future. Our focus is not just on this year but on where technology is going next year and beyond, so that our 2020 vision can support our customers’ visions of their own futures.