Retrospectives are important and help organizations who are rapidly evolving to a new future. Why? Because taking a step back to see the landscape of where you started compared to where you are today provides insight on how you must further adapt to change, particularly during times of disruption. Four years ago, we published our first Future Trends report that examined a major shift unfolding due to the converging “tectonic plates” of people, technology and market boundary changes disrupting and redefining the world, industries and businesses — including insurance. What a shift we have seen in those four years!
The shift is intensifying and realigning fundamental elements of the insurance business, requiring us to erase the idea that we can ease our organizations into this new era with minor adjustments. For an industry steeped in decades if not centuries of tradition, this shift creates significant risk and opportunity.
Incumbents must begin to think and operate as technology-led companies, rather than insurance-product companies. They must adopt new, emerging and maturing technologies to provide digitally-savvy customers with the product they want and need, recognizing that a product today must include the customer experience, risk coverage and services. Like it or not, the “Amazon experience” is now the benchmark for all businesses, including insurance, by providing personalized, instant digital engagement seamlessly across products and channels — for existing, underserved and unserved markets.
Fortunately, some leaders are emerging. But they are not just innovating their businesses. They are disrupting them by rethinking and reimagining the future as a digital-first insurer. Rather than holding onto decades of operational tradition built into their current business systems and processes, they are shifting their technological and administrative weight using a two-speed strategy – Speed of Operations and Speed of Innovation – for growth, relevance and success.