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Flow of New Technology Can Overwhelm

Mike Fitzgerald | April 05, 2016

I am sensing a good deal of change fatigue when I present on emerging technologies in insurance. From comments made, questions asked, and body language read, I perceive that IT people in most insurers are overwhelmed with the continuous flow of new technologies.

The frenetic excitement and urgency which accompany them also contributes to shell shock. In most organizations, the benefits from administration system renewal have not been fully realized, so routine maintenance and never-ending regulatory changes continue to absorb 60 percent or more of their effort.

The majority of insurers have not built processes and organizational structures to handle this flow of new technology. Without a deliberate approach in place, the response is reactionary, and contributes to frustration and disappointment.

However, this is beginning to change in a few firms. A good example is the recent interest in Blockchain technology. While this is being pursued aggressively by banks and securities firms, insurance applications are only now coming into focus.

Insurers with innovation laboratories and/or deliberate, fast-cycle development processes are using them to evaluate the possibilities with this new technology. AXA and Allianz, for instance, recently announced that their innovation teams are partnering with selected start-ups to look at the opportunities in this space.

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