Here are some of the views from speakers at Celent's Innovation and Insight Day, held this week in Boston, on what facilitates innovation in the insurance industry. For more from the conference, see Insurers' 3 Most Promising Next-Gen Techs... And an Overrated One
1. Infrastructure matters more than culture...
"I am not convinced that the pool table, sofa, food thing is the secret. More and more what we realize about the great innovative companies is that they have a digitized platform to build on. It is a recognition of what needs to be shared in their organization. Very often we have heroes who make sure that everything works together. But what you need is an environment where people rely on outstanding systems to do what they're supposed to do."
--Jeanne Ross, Director and Principal Research Scientist, MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research
2. ...But your culture must support innovative use of that infrastructure
"I've been told to innovate. That's one of the things that from an environment perspective, I'm blessed. What we've really tried to do from an innovative perspective is look at consumer behavior. The glossy website that you see at Amazon or Apple -- why is that only for consumers? Why can't it be for commercial insurance as well? But we have a data architecture that allowed us to get it all together. Without the legacy burden we're able to really think about what we're doing and challenging the business folks."
--Justin Manley, CIO - Americas, Torus Insurance
3. Be disciplined in seeing innovations through
"As an industry we don't have a great track record of innovation, but this was one of the first industries to employ computers in the business process. I do think that innovation can be in the DNA of insurance companies. We always have one or two products that come back every year -- they don't quite get over that exec hurdle or have the business value."
--Mike Fitzgerald, senior analyst, Celent