Planning for the Future


The author William Gibson once famously noted that the future is already here…it just isn’t evenly distributed. If there was any question about how true that statement is, it was effectively dispelled at Aite-Novarica Group’s recent Insurance CIO Council Meeting. Held in conjunction with the 2023 InsurTech Hartford Symposium, this event provided a broad and deep perspective on just how much is changing in the post-pandemic era, and how quickly new considerations can emerge in the complex insurance landscape.

This year’s event brought together nearly 100 CIOs, CTOs, CISOs, and other senior IT leaders from across all lines of business. We welcomed its return, as the first of these events we’ve hosted since 2019, which also highlighted just how much has changed. We are looking at seismic shifts in the business: in technology, in people, in knowledge management.

All of these items need to be addressed as we push rapidly toward the middle of the decade and plan for a world where, by 2030, demographic shifts mean millennials and Gen Z will comprise 75% of the U.S. labor force. This change reminds me of a recent Jeff Bezos interview where he was asked, “What will change over the next 10 years?” His answer was priceless. “That’s the wrong question… we should be asking what will be the same.”

The Evolving Insurance Ecosystem

In addition to a discussion of this year’s Top 10 Trends for insurance that I co-hosted with our Head of Property and Casualty Insurance Martina Conlon, our colleagues Deb Zawisza and Nancy Casbarro shared new research on how an ecosystem of capabilities has emerged to support the broader technical needs of the property/casualty (P/C) space.

While life/annuity/benefits (L/A/B) carriers don’t see this emerging in the same way yet, the probability of this happening in the latter part of the decade is high. It is a good time to start contemplating that. To help facilitate the planning for a future state, we shared a new framework to help L/A/B carriers start planning, and executing, in a logical way to accelerate their core system transformation efforts.

The approach we have developed helps reduce risk and increase the creation of value for carriers making these investments by helping recast them as “business projects enabled by technology” rather than as pure-play technology efforts.

Emerging Technologies Take the Floor

Generative AI’s rush to center stage from the last few months was very much on the agenda. An array of perspectives on the use of tools like ChatGPT were shared, including interesting and beneficial use cases in addition to some of the potential challenges and regulatory issues which may lie ahead for organizations using these tools. As if to highlight how dynamic this space can be from a regulatory perspective, Italy banned the use of ChatGPT before the conference started, then rescinded the ban after OpenAI made changes to address regulatory concerns.

Innovation and emerging technologies were part of the broader discussion as well, with some of our guest panelist CIOs sharing their own companies’ approaches to both operationalizing innovation in what they do and how they look to create value from those investments. This also gave us a chance to review the differences between tactical and strategic innovation, as well as the value for companies in taking a portfolio approach to their future-state investments and planning.

It is without a doubt an interesting and exciting time for our industry. It is also a time in which there are significant challenges to be managed, as witnessed by some of the recent turmoil in the banking sector. There’s much work to be done, and there’s no better time to accelerate efforts than now. Interested in getting a deeper look at the innovation afoot? Register now for this year’s Silicon Valley Innovation Tour in June here.