Insurance companies aren’t the only ones making big changes to meet the demands of the digital world. In the media business, we face a rapidly changing landscape of user interaction expectations as well. And so, I’m proud to announce the new Insurance Networking News site is live and ready to provide a better experience for all our readers, on any platform you choose to interact with us.
We talk to insurers about transformation projects all the time, and too often we’re focused on the challenges and frustrations of the process. But there is always a huge difference between working with a new technology platform in a QA environment, and finally getting to realize the benefits in a live deployment. This morning, as I was finally working with fresh content — not the sample stories I had read dozens of times throughout the development process — I was exhilarated, and dismissed any reticence I had in favor of excitement for the future.
I imagine that insurance companies experience something similar at the end of big policy administration system upgrades, or even as ancillary tools are rolled out across the enterprise. Sure, during the selection and implementation process, resources are stretched thin and envisioning a future state is fuzzy. But there’s a reason companies go through the temporary pain of upgrading and improving: The end result is a clean, fresh start.
I spoke at the Association for Home Office Underwriters’ conference last month, at the Wardman Park Marriott in Washington, D.C. The topic: How underwriters should prepare for the next generation of tech innovation. Shortly before I left, Valen Analytics released research that found insurance underwriters feared implementation of predictive analytics, because they believe it is an existential threat to their careers. I joked with friends before I left that I hoped the audience didn’t boo me off stage for telling them that digitalization was coming fast and furious, and underwriters would be forced to adapt in many different ways.
Obviously, I wasn’t booed. In fact, the reception was warmer than I expected. Many attendees to my session told me that they wanted to hear the possibilities for new technology to make their jobs easier or even better. Though underwriting has traditionally revolved heavily around gut feeling, consumer demands for speed to market are inexorable, and insurers simply don’t have the time to give underwriters that they had in the past. Attendees told me that they were excited to apply analytics in their jobs and get to insights faster — and potentially even be able to churn through easier risks and spend more time doing work on the more difficult, fun projects.
Sure, there are going to be people who come to the new site and read about automated underwriting, and feel a twinge of fear. But we should think about the future state of our careers with optimism. Algorithms exist to write basketball game recaps and earthquake news already. But there aren’t any to ask technology leaders specific questions about their strategy, and that’s what I love doing the most. And when I woke up this morning and took a look at the new insurancenetworking.com, I thought about all the great stories we’ll be able to produce and highlight in new ways that weren’t possible even 24 hours ago. That’s the promise of new technology that all professionals — from media to insurance — can feel.
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