Genasys turns 25 this year. When you consider the speed at which technology is developed, adopted and replaced, in tech years, we’re ancient. Yet, here we are, still innovating, still challenging, still keeping our clients happy and still having fun. How? By drinking our own Kool-Aid: Not buying into hype.
What is hype?
Hype is the tech industry’s answer to fast fashion. It starts with a Trigger – a shiny, new piece of tech (be it drones, wearables, AI, Blockchain, you name it). Every industry sees it and goes full magpie, creating Inflated Expectations (the next dot on the hype curve). This drives Investment, but soon industries start realising the promise was too good to be true, dropping the new tech down to the lowest point on the curve – the Trough of Disillusionment. And then something interesting happens – people start realising where the real benefit of the tech lies and, importantly, for whom. The curve resolves into a plateau and the product enters Mass Adoption.
Skip to the good part
By adopting a tech mindset, insurers can skip the – potentially pricey – rollercoaster ride of peaks and troughs that inevitably accompanies the launch of new tech.
1. Identify the problem.
The first principle of a tech mindset is that you don’t use tech for the sake of using tech. People may imagine tech companies as being full of geeks building expensive toys just to see what happens, but what we actually do is solve real-world problems. It starts with identifying a business objective you’re trying to achieve and then visualising how tech could help you achieve it. An example: A client in the UK wanted to speed up the claims process through automation, so we devised a system to make that automation feasible. They started with the problem (slow claims processing), then enlisted our help to devise a tech-enabled solution. That’s using tech for the right reasons.
2. Think of the customer.
A quarter of insurance customers don’t trust insurers. We should be using innovation to make a difference to customers’ lives – so much so that they feel the value. In this space, the insurance industry is ripe for tech right now. Tech can be used to streamline the path to purchase, making it simpler and easier to sell insurance. Using data enrichment, for example, an intermediary could ask a couple of questions and be able to quote a price on the spot.
Tech can be used to personalise insurance, offering customers the right product at the right time – like when a customer buys a car. It can help pay claims quicker, through automation and create transparency around communication. Perhaps most importantly, it can mitigate risk – if we can remove the potential of a claim with IoT (internet of things) devices, managing risk and changing behaviour, that’s the ideal for the insurer, the intermediary and the customer.
3. Adopt a composable business model.
At Genasys we like to joke that we were agile before agile was a term. Seriously, though, the term “agile” has become synonymous with the tech industry because we can’t afford to be anything less. Change has always been inevitable, unpredictable and of game-changing scale in our industry. Recently the whole world has had a taste of what that’s like. I can tell you now that your only guarantee is that large-scale change will happen again and once again, you probably won’t see it coming – but you can still be prepared.
A composable business model is about creating a culture within the business where you ensure you’re agile at all times – in your business process, business architecture and thinking. Using technology, you can support this culture with modular systems that can plug in and out, rapidly adapting to different environments as needed. In essence, you build resilience by being able to change aspects of the business without changing the entire business. Another key factor of a composable business model is never to feel complacent, but instead constantly evaluate what you’re doing against possible future outcomes and be open to adapting and changing.
Hype often ends up being a useless waste of time and money. Tech, however, is not useless – but it’s about selecting the right tech for the right business opportunity and bringing it all together into an ecosystem that adds value throughout the insurance value chain.