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What is disruptive technology?

01 November 2013

In our view it's an opportunity for positive change. You need to think differently to be different - and better - than the competition.

Unfortunately, in the Insurance market, the limitations of dated technology are a real barrier to growth. The reluctance to ‘move on’ means that sitting pretty systems struggle; firstly in delivering the metrics that enable leaders to identify trends and optimise business opportunities, and secondly in being able to respond to change quickly or efficiently.

Our world is no longer evolving at a slow and steady pace as these staggering statistics from Google show:

Customers expect speed - but they also want choice.

But what do we mean by choice? Take this key quote from the Tesco PLC Investors Annual Conference, which is relevant to all markets:

Technology is transforming how our customers live their lives. Being truly multichannel doesn't just mean selling online. It means innovating for customers, enabling them to shop across a range of channels in the way that is most convenient to them

So customers should be able to get a quote on their phone, check the details on a laptop and then complete the application over whatever's the most convenient - all with seamless integration. For Insurers this translates as the ability to deliver new products, change rates, and amend underwriting - all in tight time frames with the minimum of effort. It's not so much the debate about simple products verses more inventive products, fewer questions as opposed to more questions - what is needed is technology that supports all these options. Those leaders with the courage to change need the technology to support their vision.

Being disruptive is about pushing boundaries – improving products and services in ways that others don’t expect and thereby creating new markets - and that means agility, effective data, interconnectivity and digitalisation. If you fail to meet the changing habits of your customers, if you take the same stance as Canute, then the increasing capabilities of your competitors will swamp you.

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