Insurance Insights From the City of Brotherly Love


Insurance Insights From the City of Brotherly LovePhiladelphia is known for more than just Ben Franklin, cheesesteaks, Rocky at the Museum of Art, and musical soundtracks. It is also a city with a vibrant insurance community, which made it the perfect spot for the Aite-Novarica Group Insurance practice’s first in-person Regional Roundtable since before the pandemic. In a twist, it was also the site where we had to postpone our first event in April 2020, when we were first understanding the depth and tragedy that was and is COVID-19. 

Two and a half years later, we were back and ready for action. Indicative of our new times, several participants came down with COVID the week of the event, so we quickly pivoted from strictly in-person to a hybrid format. Compared to everything else this decade has brought us, that seemed remarkably easy to pull off.

A great discussion with IT leaders ensued within earshot of the Liberty Bell. The conversation included a focus on:

  • Agility as a foundation for business models: It is easy to think of Agile as a software delivery methodology, but the reality now is that every aspect of our business model needs to be agile in order to take advantage of emerging opportunities, changing market conditions, newly emerging competitors, and a sudden recognition of threats that had never been imagined.  IT organizations need to be able to support these elements, so agility on their end is critical. The fact that we needed to pivot this meeting from the physical to the virtual world in a matter of minutes suggests that agility needs to be everywhere. 
  • Data as a key ingredient for future success: Our discussions, once again, highlighted the critical importance that data and data management play in our rapidly emerging world. There are clearly technical issues associated with this, leading to interesting discussions on the vendors and solution sets being deployed. At the same time, there’s a rapidly and unevenly emerging understanding of the future state of regulations which carriers will need to be mindful of, and adapt to, even as they keep one eye on what the competition is doing. The whole idea of “done” becomes a quaint concept which no longer applies when considering the arms race that data and analytics have become.
  • Talent acquisition, development, and management are foundational in a dynamic world: Every organization described challenges in this arena, influenced by the pandemic itself, the lingering impact of the Great Resignation, the natural consequences of shifting demographics, and changes in the relationships between employers and employees. As all this plays out, knowledge management becomes a critical component for success in the future, given that the “tours of duty” which comprise career components today are very different than what was true a generation (or two) ago. Many old ideas are new again, including building talent pipelines, rethinking benefits that are tuned into the needs of the mid-2020s (as distinct from the 1970s), and revisiting the types of things which build reciprocal relationships in labor markets, as distinct from transactional ones. 
  • Changes in the solution provider landscape: With the pace of change accelerating for technology, the useful lives of these types of investments become ever shorter. Solution providers themselves are looking for new and better ways to create market distinction, and growth becomes critical for them because engagement on large transformational events can make it difficult to break in with new customers. As those carrier customers themselves evolve their own business models, with M&A very much part of their own vision for the future, it leads to searches for alternative capital sources to fund growth. All of this means that there can be a dynamic nature to carrier-solution provider relationships, which traditional IT and VMO structures may not be ready to effectively optimize.

We look forward to continuing these discussions with more Regional Roundtable events covering the balance of 2022. Interested in attending a Roundtable meeting near you? A full list of those events can be found here.