Developing Open Innovation in Insurance: Blockchain &Insurtechs

By CIOReview | Friday, August 18, 2017
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The buzzword of this decade Innovation has been rapidly evolving from simply trying new strategies and technologies to becoming a bonafide business model.  With a global transition towards open innovation (OI), businesses across different industries have needed to align and adjust or risk being sedentary and dying out. Such is the case with the insurance industry. On September 28th – 29th in Barcelona, Spain, Vonlanthen Group of Companies is hosting the Global Open Innovation Summit to address the global transition to open innovation. And, with the rising number of insurtechs, this summit comes at an appropriate time for those involved in the insurance industry.

In the case of insurance companies, they have long endured a time of prosperity; becoming what is now a multitrillion-dollar industry. But with the rise of open innovation, insurance companies have been slower to modernise than others because of their size and popular processes that have brought them to where they are today. Failing to evolve though has created a gap for new competitors to enter the market. This has given rise to insurtechs. Insurtechs are leveraging the best qualities of open innovation, like cost effectiveness, customer engagement, and transparency that the rest of the insurance world has left behind. So, how can insurers develop these same traits and get on the open innovation bandwagon for a successful future?

To answer this question, this summit will provide the steps on how to integrate open innovation into your workplace strategy; how to redefine business models for successful integration; new ways to engage customers and employees so they help with the process of innovation; and how to translate technologies into innovation.

But, as chairman of the event John Palfreyman, Consultant &Former Director, Blockchain IBM suggests, it’s blockchain technology that is key. He alludes to this by stating, ‘The potential use cases for blockchain in the insurance industry are many and varied, but can broadly be categorised into improving efficiencies (through the use of smart contracts) and enhancing trust (through the combination of consensus with immutability).’

So, what exactly is blockchain's role for enabling open innovation in the world of insurance?  Blockchain is a trusted, distributed ledger with shared business processes where transactions are agreed by business network participants giving total clarity of who's done what, when. This results in one view of truth shared across business networks and co-disputes are quick and easy to resolve. Blockchain allows the insurance industry to offer a special combination of selected transparency (with complete control of who can see what) with security (so transactions are resilient to failure or fraud).

By employing blockchain technology, insurtechs offer the ability to be cost-effective, enhance internal operations, and provide better customer experiences. Insurtechs can streamline workflows by using smart contracts to execute key events such as payment or renewal reminder. This all leads to improved efficiencies with the potential to transform the insurance industry. So, to stay relevant, traditional insurers must embrace these new technologies and work with insurtechs to stay competitive and future-proof.

Mr. Palfreyman reiterates this by stating, "Trust is a vital attribute and key enabler of the insurance industry. Distributed ledger technologies (or blockchain) enhance trust within a business network.  Hence blockchain offers tremendous transformational potential for the insurance industry."Mr. Palfreyman will be leading this discussion and will be exploring ways to achieve the above by using blockchain technologies and insurtechs within the insurance industry.

Join him and others from IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle S.A., and Bayer AG, to name a few, as they discuss the global change to OI throughout the insurance world and other industries and how technology can be leveraged to build transparency, security, and customer engagement. For more information about #GlobalOI17 Summit or to REGISTER CLICK HERE. Early Bird discount is still available!