Back on 12 November 2017, I published a post, ‘The 4th Generation of the Previously Unthinkable.’ The purpose was to describe how technology emerges and overtakes old paradigms. And a funny thing happened.
I expected that we’d get some pushback. But nothing came.
I did a short update in this space two months ago, ‘Thanks for the Previously Unthinkable.’
Still nothing. I was really worried. Based on the previous experience, I simply assumed there would be pushback.
I took to reviewing stages in technology and implementations. My previous experiences included were:
- Computers– circa 1950s. Computers were in use in the 1940s, but usage was restricted to professors at large universities. They were amusing, but not terribly helpful in business or science. This changed with the recognition that speed and accuracy was value, and computers could fill the bill. Large insurers were among the leaders.
- Personal Computers. In the early days of the 1980s, IBM introduced its first personal computer (IBM PC). By this point, most insurers had robust production technology on the existing main-frame computers. However, marketers, actuaries, and others were looking for flexibility and product development. PCs started rolling in by the truck loads.
- The Commercial Internet– circa 1995. PCs were great, and many of them had connections to back end systems. However, data exchange with other users and suppliers (brokers, third party data, etc.) were problematic. The rise of commercial internets created a utility similar to the telephone. If you had the number, you could be connected. Carriers, brokers, and suppliers took to connectivity.
Each of these benchmarks had one commonality: not everyone thought the changes were required. When I joined an insurance company, I came in to support marketing. I had some background on computers, as did others, but there was significant pushback by others. In regards to personal computers, several executives asked why we needed these ‘toys’.
I realized that I carried concerns to other initiatives, and assumed that there could be push back on the program. This came through last fall at our InsurTechTO-17. I expected that there would be pushback on the content of sessions, and some concerns about the ‘previously unthinkable’.
We had positive responses.
Now, a year on, I have come to realize that our industry have adopted the stages and requirements to maintain professional services. These are somewhat deep in technology, but are integral to the business of insurance. That allows consistencies across the board. And, significantly, this is true with other industries.
This will be the last post for 2018. We wish you all the best for the season and look forward to seeing you in 2019.