The days of putting together a 3 to 5 year roadmap are nearly gone. Because of the IoT and the incredible rate of constant change, making predictions and plans 3 to 5 years from now has become incredibly difficult. We now look at breaking up our Life Insurance systems roadmap planning into tactical and strategic pathways.
Tactical roadmaps look to the 12 to 18 month timeline and are items which we will implement in that timeline. The strategic roadmaps look outward about 3 years for more innovative, pioneering enhancements and advancement of processes.
It reminds me of the message on a car’s side view mirror – ‘5 years is a lot closer than it appears’. What we used to be able to look at as a requirement in 5 years, due to the higher rate and speed of change, can move from a 5 year target to an 18 month target overnight.
Forget 3 to 5 years, that’s nearly tomorrow. We have to look even further to the 5 and 10 year horizon. That takes a lot of blue sky objectivity, massive ‘what if’ consideration and loose fit objectivity for trying to connect the dots.
On January 9, 2007 who would have thought of the massive changes forthcoming when Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone? Who would have thought that we would be talking about wearable devices containing health information?
We need to continually make our 18 month strategic plans solid and implementable. But we also need to look to where the IoT is taking us, and what will be available in 5 to 10 years for the industry and for Life and Health insurance systems and products supporting the industry.
To strike a perfect example, 5 years ago, Life insurance was typically sold in an agent face-to-face setting. Today, the focus is on reaching the ‘millennial’ in a consumer facing, direct market. Five years ago arriving at an underwriting decision in 5 days was acceptable. Now, a decision must be delivered to that consumer in a single Internet interaction.
By looking forward to where we believe the market and technology is headed, it’s vital to provide tomorrow’s functionality today. It is that anticipatory planning that keeps Life insurance products and software systems in a position to help carriers today and over the horizon.