Insurance is on the verge of a Kodak moment

As we hit tipping point, insurance companies should humanise, personalise and individualise their services

25th October, 2016
Lisa White of Spireworks

What's your name?

Lisa White

What position do you hold?

CEO & Founder of Spireworks

How long have you held the position?

Since March 2014

What are your day to day responsibilities?

I am a thought leader and evangelist on disruptive innovation within traditional organizational environments. I have built an agile consulting network of 200+ niche technology, leadership and culture change startups and companies, whom I gather in various permutations to support clients facing massive market or technology disruption.

What is your professional background?

I am a Technologist, Change Leader, Consultant, Innovator, Program Manager, Evangelist, Entrepreneur, Team Leader, Security Specialist, Privacy Guru, Corporate Stooge, Cultural Sponge and a Talker.

Tell me about yourself away from work?

I am a passionate about the intersection between digitisation, psychological development and societal evolution, a topic that binds my professional and personal lives, and features in my performances as an improviser, my extensive reading and writing, and sometimes even in my cooking!

Tell us something very few people know about you?

During my youth I spent a year living in Libya, an experience that opened my eyes to the values and complications of physiological, cultural and cognitive diversity.

You are speaking at the 2016 Future of Insurance conference. What is your talk about?

I am on a panel speculating about the future trends that will shape insurance, in terms of technological advances, demographic shifts and the sharing economy, and suggesting strategies for organisational preparedness and adaptability.

What challenges do you see for the insurance sector?

I would highlight four particular challenges facing the insurance sector:

- Data– As customers increasingly demand personalised, low cost, rapid service, the swift, automated analysis and use of data, to not just respond but predict next steps, is becoming fundamental. But most insurance organisations have been built through acquisition and have rarely established a consolidated single customer view. The efforts to establish more professional data management are typically clunky, expensive and inflexible.

- Security– As the importance of data explodes, particularly in the increasingly open, networked and distributed environment that is the sharing economy, the security and protection of the sensitive and confidential elements of this data become massively complex, particularly for global organisations facing competing regulatory and reporting pressures.

- Cultural legacies– The rapidity of technological, market and societal change is demanding a level of adaptability that conflicts directly with the risk avoidant insurance culture. This clash will hugely complexify efforts to achieve sustainable transformation.

Arrogance – Insurance is on the verge of a Kodak moment, and much like Kodak, incumbents in insurance seem to believe in their immunity to disruption. This arrogance ultimately is what will prevent an organisation from surviving through the next decade.

Where would you like to see the industry in 10 years time?

As we hit a tipping point beyond which digital is no longer novelty, insurance companies should be expected to humanise, personalise and individualise their services, much the same as other providers, and they should be able to achieve this while massively reducing cost to the consumer. An evolutionary and adaptable approach to data is the only way to sustain this shift.

Extensive efficiencies are possible within the existing insurance model, if companies seek to innovate in terms of organisation, process and delivery, rather than obsessing over today’s new technology. I would like to see firms automating the many commodity services delivered manually today, and refocussing people on delivering adaptability and agility when responding to market shift.

I also believe that alternative forms of remuneration for insurance services will emerge, and should drive costs much, much closer to zero.

Lisa White, CEO and Founder of Spireworks will be speaking at The Sunday Business Post Future of Insurance Summit on November 18 at The Gibson Hotel in Dublin. See www.futureofinsurance.ie for further details.

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