PropertyCasually360 magazine asked me to write an article about the technology I see coming in 2018 as well as what we might be seeing in 2020.
Technology in 2018
I started the article with this:
“The pace of technology development and the resulting change in customer experience expectations continues unabated. Investment in insurance technology startups (InsurTech) also continues its record-breaking pace. Technology has always been important to the industry. It is important to watch these trends to see how they will help improve how insurance agents and brokers respond to the changing expectations of prospects and clients. Of particular interest is trying to determine what technology agent and broker must pay more attention to and what can wait.”
The article lists several vital technologies I see as being important in 2018. These include:
- Text management
- Text marketing
- Fixing follow-up failure
- Guided conversations
- Voice computing
- Augmented and virtual reality
Because of space limitation, I was not able to add all of the technologies I am tracking that I think will be important for the insurance industry in 2020 and beyond. Following is a list of a few additional items.
Spaceflight and Satellites
Significant progress is being made commercializing spaceflight. Not too long ago sending a person into an earth orbit was solely a government-sponsored activity. Not anymore.
The rise of SpaceX (Elon Musk), Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos), and an increasing number of other firms has made spaceflight a commercial activity. The most significant short-term impact is the ability to launch a new generation of satellites.
The long-term impact could be significant. We are already starting to see the short-term effect with the launching of new Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. These small (size of a breadbox) satellites will significantly alter communications, Internet access, imagery, and who knows what else.
If you are interested in more details, then I suggest you listen to the NPR’s Planet Money series on satellites.
The end of Moore’s law (processing power doubles every 18 months) has been predicted for quite some time. While doubling cannot go on forever, we have yet to experience an end to the impact of Moore’s Law. Quantum computing will start moving from theoretical and research into practical applications in the next few years. This is especially significant as the processing power required by artificial intelligence systems will demand a different (more powerful) type of computing platform.
A quantum computer is based on the theory of Quantum entanglement. Early experiments have led to a new branch of computer science called quantum information theory. The theory was that it might be possible to build a vastly more powerful computer based on quantum information states.
That theory is becoming a reality. Both Google and IBM have already developed small-scale quantum computers, and IBM even allows people to access it through the cloud. I don’t pretend to understand this yet, but I am watching and learning as much as I can.
Internet of Things
Old news, right? Yes, but…
It has been predicted for quite some time that the number of connected devices will increase dramatically over the next few years. This is no longer a question. The issue will be learning how to utilize the vast amount of data the sensors can gather in a way that will help improve business, homes, cars, and just about anything else.
The number of devices connected to the Internet is surging and will reach 20.4 billion by 2020, up from 8.4 billion in 2017, according to Gartner Research Inc. By 2021, 40% of enterprises will have an edge computing strategy in place, up from about 1% in 2017, Gartner says. Edge computing allows data to be processed and analyzed on or near the device where it is generated instead of first being sent to a corporate data center.
The Need to Pay Attention
Technology has always been important to the insurance industry. The pace of technology development and the resulting change in customer experience expectations continues unabated. Investment in insurance technology startups (InsurTech) also continues its record-breaking pace. It is important to watch these trends to see how they will improve the way insurance agents and brokers respond to the changing expectations of prospects and clients.
What technology do you think you will be exploring in the next two years?