Create an engine for continuous innovation
Insurance companies have had to set aside their reservations about being too experimental and changing too fast in order to innovate at the speed necessary to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. Opportunities for which carriers expected to have years to prepare are quickly approaching and slow-growing pain-points are rapidly rising to the surface.
To turn the enterprise into an engine for transformation in these turbulent times, insurers must first assemble their unique innovation DNA. Similar to human DNA, which stacks chemical building blocks, a company’s innovation DNA is made up of three building blocks:
- maturing digital technology that is more commoditized and accessible;
- scientific advancements that push the boundaries of industries and inspire change; and
- emerging DARQ (distributed ledgers, artificial intelligence, extended reality and quantum computing) technologies that are steadily growing in maturity.
Today, insurance leaders are weaving these technological building blocks together to set a course for their company’s future. While not every insurance business will have each of these three areas fully developed, it’s important that they remain open to each of them as they build their own innovation DNA.
For businesses, the path forward begins with a renewed focus on technology transformation as they find their unique combination of building blocks and develop their innovation DNA.
It all starts by understanding the innovative business solutions that each building block provides. Maturing digital technology is no longer just an advantage — it’s a requirement. Many companies are finding new value by putting a price tag on their capabilities while also making them more accessible to those within their ecosystem.
Allianz and Microsoft, for example, are working together not only to move Allianz’s global insurance platform Allianz Business System to the Azure cloud, but also to develop Insurance-as-a-Service offerings for other insurance carriers.
Meanwhile, advancements in science are helping companies expand beyond the digital world. From material sciences to genomic editing, companies are turning these disruptions into competitive advantages faster than ever before.
Reinsurers Swiss Re and Munich Re have studied changing climate patterns for decades, for example, with a view to developing innovative risk transfer solutions.
Finally, whereas many insurers took a conservative stance on DARQ technologies before the pandemic, the need to innovate at speed will compel some of them to embrace these technologies faster than originally planned.
Already, leading organizations like Ping An Insurance are finding new ways to inject DARQ technologies into mature markets. Ping An is using AI, blockchain, cloud, big data, and security to drive its 'finance + technology' and 'finance + ecosystem' strategies.