January 31, 2021
ITL FOCUS: Blockchain
ITL FOCUS is a monthly initiative featuring meaningful topics as they relate to innovation in the risk management and insurance industries.
FEBRUARY 2021 FOCUS OF THE MONTHBlockchain
FROM THE EDITOR
While the pandemic has greatly accelerated the digitization of the insurance industry — turning years into months — it has also shown us how very far we still have to go. As a rule of thumb, I’ve heard consultants say that 50% of the operating costs need to be driven out of the industry in the next five years.
We’ll still have to handle the mountains of information that come with assessing the risk for billions of policies and processing and paying all the claims. But what if we could use a lot less paper and if the handoffs could happen automatically, rather than requiring a game of phone tag, a string of emails or even having someone walk a file to another part of the building?
Blockchain has held out that promise for some time now. It’s lost a bit of its shine because it’s been identified as a hot technology of the year for so many years in a row. But it may be coming into its own, with some uses starting to move into production. The RiskStream consortium (with which I’ve done a series of webinars, available here [link]) has, for instance, an implementation for first notice of loss for car accidents that lets all parties contribute to a permanent record, captured in a blockchain, and avoid all the calling for details and manual sharing of records that occurs now.
We’ve collected our thought leaders’ latest thinking below. Please keep an eye out for updates, as this will be a hot topic for us for a long time to come.
– Paul Carroll, ITL’s Editor-in-Chief
6 QUESTIONS FOR JOHN SVIOKLA
As part of this month’s ITL FOCUS, we spoke with John Sviokla, strategic adviser at Manifold and former senior partner and chief marketing officer of PwC, about the future impacts and strategic implications of blockchain.
You’ve made a career out of identifying the strategic possibilities of technology — going back at least to the seminal piece about e-commerce that you co-wrote in Harvard Business Review in the early 1990s, before most of us had even heard of an internet browser. How revolutionary do you think blockchain will be?
“I think blockchains are going to be a big deal for at least three things: trading, in general; supply chains; and identity, in particular.”
WHAT TO WATCH
WHAT TO READ
WHO TO KNOW
Get to know this month’s FOCUS article authors: