Blockchain and insurance: the next revolution

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that is broadly discussed as a technology with huge innovation potential in all areas of financial services. To date, the majority of usage cases of this technology are in the banking arena. We can refer to several publications available on Initio’s blog regarding the impact of blockchain technology and the usage of crypto currencies in financial services.

However, the blockchain technology also offers potential use cases for insurers that include innovating insurance products and services for growth, increasing effectiveness in fraud detection, pricing and reducing administrative cost. In these application areas insurers could address some of the main challenges they are facing today – such as limited growth in mature markets and cost reduction pressures.

While the insurance industry (in terms of technology adoption) lags behind banking, it is nevertheless uniquely positioned to benefit from blockchain technology. Blockchain can address the competitive challenges many incumbents face, including poor customer engagement, limited growth in mature markets, and the trends of digitization. In the following, we will outline one of the most promising insurance-related use case that will increase effectiveness and reduce cost by automating key processes

For several years, the Belgian insurance market was behind on the digital revolution while banking sector had been working hard in digitalizing their services across entities and platforms to meet the demand from users for a full digital financial experience. Insurance companies have been delaying this evolution while controlling their risks and focusing on their profits. The digital evolution was mostly aimed at improving the digital process for their main selling channels: brokers and banks. They have therefore developed platforms to ease the process for subscriptions, customer management, financial integration and reducing paper works. In addition, some companies have developed mobile applications allowing users to see their insurances or contact their company for claims. These applications did not meet the expected success amongst final customers and are not even updated to follow the actual digital market trends.

Read the complete white paper « Blockchain and Insurance: the next revolution » by Jorge Toral, consultant at Initio

Change management: how to deal with the human impact ?

In his groundbreaking 1970 book: “Future Shock”, Alvin Toffler argued that accelerating change in technology and society causes in most of us what he coined an ‘information overload’. This leads to stress and feeling of being overwhelmed – a future shock. On an individual level, in our private lives, adoption of new technology is voluntary and led mainly by trends, our friends and acquaintances. But in organizations, workplaces, new technologies, structures and work methods are dictated by a need and by management. A soft conflict between individuals, teams and organizations is to be expected, unless carefully managed.

In addition, globalization and constant innovation of technology results in a constantly evolving business environment. Phenomena such as social media and mobile adaptability have revolutionized business and these effects is an ever-increasing need for change, and therefore change management. The growth in technology also has a secondary effect of increasing the availability and therefore accountability of knowledge. Easily accessible information has resulted in unprecedented scrutiny from shareholders and the media and pressure on management.

With the business environment experiencing so much change, organizations must then learn to become comfortable with change as well. Therefore, the ability to manage and adapt to organizational change is an essential ability required in the workplace today. Yet, major and rapid organizational change is profoundly difficult because the structure, culture, and routines of organizations often reflect a persistent and difficult-to-remove « imprint » of past periods, which are resistant to radical change even as the current environment of the organization changes rapidly.

Read the complete white paper « Change Management: How to deal with the human impact ? » by Jorge Toral, consultant at Initio