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The revolution arrives Disruptive technology goes mainstream as IAG steps to the cutting edge. It’s all happening very fast, and brokers will have to keep up with it By Terry McMullan TECHNOLOGY IS SET TO CHANGE THE way the global insurance industry works. Insurers around the world and the international brokers are collectively pouring billions of dollars into finding and developing new ways to serve customers and retain them in the long term. The revolution has been coming for several years, and its impacts are now becoming obvious. It is a major reason why the country’s two largest insurers, IAG and Suncorp, have realigned their business models over the past few months, with the aim of growing closer to their customer base. The two giants’ emphasis is different, however, with IAG going for broke on the digital revolution while Suncorp is working on what many observers see as an updated allfinanz model focused on using technology to help it sell products across its expansive financial services base. The international brokers are following the insurers into the task of building vast information reserves known as Big Data. But it’s the insurers’ focus on finding new ways to deliver insurance products through the use of advanced technologies that is gaining most attention. The term “disruptive innovation” is becoming common parlance in the C-suites of the major insurers – and it’s a term that brokers should be aware of. In December IAG made a dramatic move away from the traditional model to reset its priorities as a customer-led and data-driven organisation embracing disruptive technology. The structure devised by new Managing Director and Chief Executive Peter Harmer put in place customer-facing units, one covering sales, service and brand and marketing execution, and another focused on business relationships. Former chief analytics officer Julie Batch now heads up Customer Labs, where new marketing strategies and “customer propositions” will be developed. It’s also the place for the collection of data and where new business ventures will be tried. The other unit is Digital Labs, headed by former chief information officer Claire Rawlins, now IAG’s Group Executive, Digital and Technology. This is where the innovation and disruption effort will be centred. 12

Changing cultures and helping companies embrace new technologies: IAG Digital Labs’ Claire Rawlins

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February/March 2016

Profile for Insurance News (the magazine)

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