I sincerely hope technological advancement will become an active topic in our industry because the insurance industry is unnecessarily behind technologically. Technology has advanced far enough to automate many of the activities the insurance industry is still doing manually.
Proof of insurance, for example, should be an automated process. State Farm has made progress in this area with their b2b website and other automated delivery systems which allows insurance tracking companies to access policy information. Many other companies are still relying on faxed proof of insurance, or God help us, snail-mail. Acord forms are an antiquated methodology – this is a manual solution created by an industry that refuses to move into the 21st Century. Automating insurance notifications has been discussed for years so why has it not been implemented yet? We’re not waiting on technology to catch up with us – we have the technology in place now.
I read a blog this morning from Frank Heaps called Where Will We Find the Next Generation of Insurance IT Professionals? He is mainly discussing the incoming workforce and the technological know-how they bring with them. They not only have a deeper understanding of technological advancement but they communicate in a different way – virtually. As Frank Heaps points out in his blog, “This latest generation of employee doesn’t know a world without computers, social media, instant messaging and other modern technologies that they take for granted.” It will be interesting to see what this new generation does in the insurance industry…assuming we are able to attract them.
I was delighted to find an upcoming conference that will start with an exclusive LinkedIn group which will allow conference members an opportunity to discuss topics before the conference even begins. This virtual style of communicating is going to become the way of doing business in the future. We’ve already started with Work-From-Home employees who communicate with their office virtually and I see signs that this is going to expand beyond what we’ve conceived of at this time.
We’re catching up slowly and there are companies in the insurance industry that are starting to take notice of the technological advancement that has been ignored for too long. Those who want to be industry leaders will be the ones who are taking advantage of the money-saving technologies that are available to us now and implementing them successfully in their arena.