Over 100,000 views of Dr Robin Kiera's article ""Amazon is Coming. Game Over for the Insurance Industry?". 180 of them from Zurich Insurance alone. If nothing else it shows the perceived threat is real.
Jeffry Pilcher, CEO/President & Publisher of The Financial Brand explains today how Amazon may well launch banking services.
It has the AWS platform, retail and payments expertise, far superior data management and analytics skills, applies AI, machine learning and robotics. Jeff Beezos and Amazon has an insatiable appetite for growth!
Andd not just Amazon. Back in September I drew attention to Alibaba in China disrupting incumbent insurers-
Amazon, Alibaba, Zong An and other digital giants all have the big data skills that insurers lack; and to add to the threat they have world-class digital skills to die for. The most frightening strength is speed of decision and execution which is singularly lacking with insurers which are by nature conservative, risk averse and slow.
Even those insurance carriers that have digital strategies and hired digital natives are hindered by cultural lethargy and infighting. There may be a commitment at HQ and the Group CEO but country subsidiaries and structural hierarchies hinder fast action.
Of all the insurers planning digital transformation initiatives I know only one that has the drive and company-wide commitment to act fast. Driven by a CEO that will not take no for an answer and knows that speed combined with effective decision making is essential.
Insurers need to be jerked into effective action.
"Jerk is the third derivative of the equation of motion; jerk is a change in acceleration over time. In physics, jerk represents an extremely rapid change in condition.. violent, uncontrolled and difficult to contain."
Christopher Surdak "Jerk- Twelve steps to Rule the World"
If insurers cannot cope with being jerked into effective digital transformation it will give the likes of Amazon a home run to seize the insurance high ground.
"The consulting team at McKinsey says that if big tech firms like Amazon get serious about banking, they could steal a big chunk of profits and leave banks with the least attractive parts of the business. McKinsey’s worst-case scenario puts returns on a par with what banks saw during the financial crisis of 2008."
Jeffry Pilcher, CEO/President & Publisher of The Financial Brand 2nd January 2018
Luckily for insurers there are practical, fast to deploy, scalable and proven solutions to counter the threat and exploit their own strengths and customer base.
Originally I wrote the article as a response to rumors - well, more than rumors - that Amazon is creating a department of about 100 people-strong in London. The analysis showed what Amazon's strategic maneuvering might mean for the insurance industry – especially taking their current state into consideration. Basically, the time that insurers have to react to the challenges of digital transformation is much shorter than we thought - especially sind Amazon as a tech-and data-driven company with a proven ability to disrupt other industries enters the industry. If the insurance industry doesn't act fast, for example hiring digital natives – also on board level - and acknowledging the dramatic character of the own state in times of digital transformation, they are in deep trouble.