Insurance Trade Show Musings: “Miles to go before I innovate...”
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28 June 2013Chuck Johnston
I am back from the whirlwind of insurance technology trade shows and vendors meetings that happen this time every year, sitting in my office after getting re-acquainted with family and pets. Every year at these shows there is a key word or phrase that rises above the noise and this year I heard “Innovation”. There were great discussions around Big Data, Social Media, Mobile and Location-based technology and of course Customer Experience, but the common denominator was insurers using these capabilities to be more innovative. I spoke with many consulting and system integration firms that have created frameworks, methodologies, benchmarks, ideation processes and case studies to help insurers become innovative. The focus was almost always on marshaling the capabilities mentioned above to create a sea change within their business and market. (Full disclosure: Celent has an insurance innovation offering designed to align IT projects and emerging technologies with insurers innovation goals.) It would seem innovation should be easy for insurers with all of these great capabilities, processes and good advice, but as seen in our recent CIO survey (2013 North America Insurance CIO Survey: Pressures, Priorities—and Innovation), insurers are struggling with an effective approach to innovation. It truly seems like a long road, cold road to insurance innovation. I believe the problem lies with that great oxymoron, Common Wisdom. Here are three of examples of Common Wisdom from the shows that stand out as blocking innovation.
- “Life insurance is still bought, not sold and needs an agent”
- “Big data can wait. I need to get internal data fixed first”
- "Life and annuity insurers don't need a mobile platform. Transaction volumes are too low."