Unlike companies in quite a few other industries, insurers have a book of business of clients who potentially expect to conduct business in a different (and "older") manner than new prospects might. Life insurers have to provide service to clients for three, four, five or more decades. P&C insurers selling long-tail coverage also have to provide service for multiple decades.
Why does this matter?
This matters because insurers that keep the same clients for 10 or more years have to approach applying technology like a juggler striving to keep multiple objects in the air. Insurers must juggle the technology expectations of present clients with what future clients will be comfortable using.
I'm not saying that insurers can expect to succeed in the present or the future by keeping the multiplicity of unique core administration systems that most insurers have. I am saying that insurers must craft their client go-to-market strategies and concomitant technology tactical initiatives to enable the insurers to service clients using a range of capabilities.
Commerce, and many other aspects of life (e.g., work and entertainment), are rapidly becoming mobile. Millions use social media channels throughout each day. But ... that does not mean that insurers should look to mobile or social media to interact with all of their clients.
Insurers must continually probe the manner in which current and future clients want to interact with them.
I think the result will be a client interaction choice board supported by current and emerging technologies that will continually change at the pace of insurers' clients' comfort levels.
What do you think?