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Opinion: The pandemic just debunked some big myths about our industry

by  Alex Harari  |  11 Jun 2020

The “people, process, and systems” framework for successful organizational transformation has been around since the 60s. It’s a well-studied idea that those are the three key elements needed for a business or organization to embrace change and thrive. But sometimes, something unexpected gets thrown into the transformation mix. For the insurance industry, that something was COVID-19, which has forced full-throttle change in how we work and erased long-held assumptions about remote operation, the need for paper, and retaining legacy systems.

COVID-19 pandemic blew down the barriers (and excuses)

Insurance technology that encompasses data analysis, AI and automation is proven to improve agency efficiency and the value the industry can deliver to insureds, shareholders and staff. But adoption has been slow. Barriers to progress include regulation and reluctance of the traditional insurance markets to embrace new platforms.

But as countries and industries all over the world came to a standstill this spring, the insurance industry not only remained active, it also had to immediately adapt to working from home with new technology.

The industry surprised itself, as quickly it became apparent that:

● People, with the right tools (especially cloud computing and open APIs) are perfectly able to adapt to working from home

● Processes that eliminate paper are necessary and viable

● Technology in the cloud, whether for meetings or for off-premise operations, and data are king. Those who can remotely harness data around customers, claims and pricing have quickly risen to be the most successful during this crisis

What’s more, the disruption of the pandemic has revealed what is perhaps the fourth pillar of transformation in the insurance industry: relationships. It has shown that those who can communicate effectively and maintain relationships in a rapidly changing, socially-distanced reality will come out on top as the brokers of the future.

The future way of working is no longer in the future

Organizational transformation is here for insurance, ready or not. This crisis has shown how resilient, adaptable and agile our “old-school” industry can actually be. Our people, processes and systems can transform, and if we keep customer value, the customer journey, and the essential nature of relationships in mind, we have the power to embrace our future right now.

 

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