When We Weren’t Looking, the Future Arrived!

When We Weren’t Looking, the Future Arrived!The past two years have highlighted that we live in extraordinary times. It may feel to many that we have lived the opening lines of Charles Dickens’s “A Tale of Two Cities,” as we’ve experienced both the best and the worst of times.

The onset of the COVD-19 pandemic produced a challenging and dark backdrop which seems destined to cover two or more years. The tragedy is impossible to understate, even as we honored the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. At the same time, however, we have experienced remarkable silver linings. The continued march forward on the digitization and virtualization of work has created vital new customer engagement models and allowed teams to shake off the notion that an office environment is critical to getting work done in the 21st century.

Innovation has flourished as insurance carriers have pushed to find new and better ways of doing things, proving once again that the old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” is true. A year ago, Aite-Novarica’s creation of the Innovation Advisory Board, which allows us to virtually bring together carriers from across North America and key participants in the Silicon Valley ecosystem, would have looked like a flight of fancy, but now gatherings of this type have become routine.

Now, insurance carriers are carefully considering their return-to-office plans. Recent studies (including our own “Return-to-Office Planning: Q4 2021 and Q1 2022 Changes”) have highlighted the desire to return to physical locations in many instances as well as the countervailing pressure against returning to a nostalgic status quo. Since the pandemic hit, labor markets in North America have fundamentally changed. Millennials now represent more than half the US labor force and are expected to crest the 75% level by 2025. Younger baby boomers — of which there are relatively few to begin with — are exercising accelerated early retirement options, creating new pressures on talent acquisition, retention, and knowledge management. For many insurers, finding that they are suddenly in a national, rather than a localized, labor pool can carry both challenges and benefits.

Insurance carriers looking toward the future have numerous issues to address and opportunities to take advantage of; technology will be a key enabler for business strategies going forward. Having the right technology strategies in place, with the right talent to deliver on them, represents a key differentiator in an increasingly competitive world. This all proves the wisdom of William Gibson’s key insight, “the future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

We wish you continued success as we race toward 2022 and look forward to being able to play a strategic, supporting role in your journey!

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