Brian Solis, a digital analyst and anthropologist, studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society, calling it “digital Darwinism." Solis borrowed Darwinism to describe how organizations adapt to changing customer behavior (anthropological view) and rapidly changing technology through digital transformation. As Solis says in various articles, the effect of digital Darwinism on business is real, and it’s enlivened through evolutionary changes in people in their views, expectations and decision-making.
And we are seeing it rapidly unfold in the insurance industry.
The pace of disruption and dramatic changes are truly evident when we look at Majesco’s first Future Trends report from February 2016 to the second one in March 2017…and now in 2018. This year’s Future Trends report
takes a deeper look at the current state of insurance disruptors across people, technology and market boundaries, and how they are pressuring insurers to adapt, pushing them out of their traditional orbits and toward new models and opportunities — “digital Darwinism” — to Digital Insurance 2.0.
The Insurance Darwinian Shift
and SMB surveys
show that customers seek “ease in doing business” across the research, purchase and service aspects of insurance. In addition, they are rapidly adapting to the digital age, and they have a rising interest in innovative products and business models emerging in the market, posing a threat to existing insurers.
See also: Digital Playbooks for Insurers (Part 1)
Startups like Lemonade, Slice, Zhong An, Haven Life, Bought by Many and Neos are embarking on Digital Insurance 2.0 business models using digital platform capabilities and ecosystems that exploit untapped markets and address under- or unmet needs that strengthen customer relationships.
New business models are serving different markets, have different products and services and use different strategies. While customer demographics and expectations, emerging technologies and data, and insurtech have had a majority of the focus, one area that has been a catalyst for these companies to shift to Digital Insurance 2.0 is platform solutions.
Platform solutions provide these innovative companies speed to value, unique customer engagement, a test-and-learn platform for minimal viable products and value-aligned optimized costs. Their platform solutions also catalyze digital technologies and processes, AI/cognitive, cloud computing and an ecosystem, into a powerful new force to expand capabilities and reach well beyond those of the traditional Insurance 1.0 model. They are creating new paths, energizing the market and lowering operational costs.
Digital Adaptation is Just Beginning
As a result, incumbent insurers must aggressively begin to define their vision and path to Digital Insurance 2.0, leveraging today’s catalytic lever, platform solutions.
And Digital Insurance 2.0 is just the beginning. The catalytic effect of platform solutions in the shift to Digital Insurance 2.0 is rapidly evolving, gaining momentum and laying the groundwork for future reactions. Will the next catalyst be blockchain or some other trend that will propel us toward Insurance 3.0?
See also: Digital Insurance 2.0: Benefits
Insurers’ abilities to adapt and rapidly move to Digital Insurance 2.0 will likely define their future. As such, insurance executives and leaders should ask themselves the following:
- Are we appealing to customers’ motivations, making our processes simple and creating compelling triggers to act?
- What is our business strategy, and how are we incorporating a platform and ecosystem approach?
- In which markets and with what customers will we find our future growth? What will they expect?
- What is our partnership approach today, and how will it need to change to extend to a broader ecosystem?
- Is our technology platform the foundation for our growth?
The future is still unfolding. New technologies and ecosystems will continue to emerge. And with those changes, over the next decade, we will likely see the beginnings of Digital Insurance 3.0 emerge. Organizations will need agility to adapt and respond, a keen focus on innovation that encourages experimentation, and a priority on speed to value to succeed, or even survive.