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SMA Report Focuses on Re-shaping Insurers Through Emerging Technology

Staff Writer | October 16, 2014

Strategy Meets Action (SMA) released a new research report, Emerging Technologies: Reshaping the Next-Gen Insurer that assesses nine emerging technologies: 3D Printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Drones/Aerial Imagery, Driverless Vehicles, Wearable Devices, Gamification, Artificial Intelligence, Semantic Technologies, and Biotechnology, both from within and "outside-the-industry" to gain a contrasting view.

In addition, the report provides insight into these emerging technologies' adoption, investment plans, and opportunities for business areas, as well as the greatest risk and potential for disrupting or transforming insurance.

"The insurance industry's rapid uptake and the potential of these emerging technologies to transform and innovate insurance is impressive and profound, with five of the nine technologies projected to arrive at or go well beyond the tipping point within three years," says Denise Garth, SMA partner. "Even more impressive is that all nine are projected to surpass the tipping point in five years. Adding to the momentum, outside-the-industry perspectives see an even faster rate of adoption and greater potential in the transformation and innovation of insurance. This emphasizes that the insurance industry is on the edge of a massive wave of wide-spread change that will unquestionably influence, disrupt, and transform insurance in major ways. And the impact to the insurance industry will be more profound, pivotal, and game-changing than ever before." 

The report highlights and discusses the following:

  • Assessments of the nine emerging technologies from the inside and outside-the-industry perspectives in terms of adoption over the next 3, 5, 7, and 10 years.
  • Assessment of the investment plans for the nine emerging technologies.
  • Identification of the most disruptive and transformative impact within insurance for each of these technologies.
  • Examples of adoption of these technologies within and outside the industry and the transformative implications.
  • Key implications, opportunities, and questions to help insurers to rethink their strategic vision and business models.
  • Recommendations and actions that can help insurers assess, strategize, and take action on these emerging technologies.

The report suggests that the influence of these technologies will begin to delineate a new generation of market leaders within and outside the insurance industry. It recommends that insurers quickly begin to develop strategies, experiment, and invest in these technologies today. If not, many insurers will be placed at significant risk, since there is typically a minimum two year lag time between leaders and mainstreamers and a minimum four to five year lag time between leaders and laggards. And given the pace of adoption of these technologies by insurance customers, the lag time carries more potential for damage than it did in the past.

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