Toronto Peer Networking Event
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2 November 2012Michael Fitzgerald
Celent held its 10th Peer Networking Event in Toronto last week and met with Canadian-based carriers to discuss insurance innovation and trends in big data. The purpose of the discussions was to identify practical ways to make progress on these topics in the face of increasing demands from the day-to-day business. The group reviewed the Celent Innovation Model and then broke into subgroups for a hands-on exercise. They used the model to analyze a set of strategic projects. The group agreed that using a model to analyze the disruptive potential of projects lends a valuable perspective to the standard project review process. There was also a broad recognition that funding and implementing truly innovative projects requires significant alignment between IT and business. One participant observed that senior leadership’s challenge when sponsoring innovative and disruptive initiatives is to be ready for quick failures and recalibration. The host CIO then led a discussion on current challenges and opportunities in the Canadian market. A consensus view was that past allegiance of a policyholder to their company that existed five years ago is largely gone today. Insurers cannot take for granted their customers will renew. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to engage and reach the customer in various ways and with new products. For example, telematics is receiving a lot of attention in the Canadian market and usage based insurance is likely to be standard very shortly. In the afternoon, Ben Moreland presented a framework in which to understand Big Data and also gave the group insight into the vendor market serving this area. His prediction for the market development of big data products is that they will follow a similar path to portals. Initially, large system providers such as IBM and BEA delivered platforms on which insurers could build portals. As the market matured, purpose-built solutions emerged that contain deep functionality built in. The final session was led by a business architect from one of the leading banks in Canada. He shared an analysis tool developed by his company that used customer experience mapping techniques to trace the journey that customer data takes through the various systems used in their insurance area. As a result of this approach, insights and opportunities for consolidation were discovered that would have remained hidden using traditional data analysis techniques. As with the all of other Peer Networking Events, the feedback from participants was that this format allows for open and active exchange of ideas between insurance company technology professionals. If you are interested in attending or hosting an event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.