Craig Bedell, Global Insurance Industry Executive at IBM, sees many challenges facing the insurance industry, including the buying habits of personal lines or commercial lines customers. New data and technologies are mitigating, but sometimes increasing risks faced by consumers. Security and privacy surrounding risk information is also important for insurers.

Even more basic, according to Mr. Bedell, is the changing environment due to emerging technologies, societal changes, and overall risk. It requires companies to be more flexible in dealing with opportunities.

The biggest opportunities Mr. Bedell sees for insurers stem from companies becoming “more modern” from a people, process and technology perspective. Attracting and hiring new talent help organizations embrace change and be willing to experiment with minimally viable products (MVPs). He says technologies have become more straight forward for business people, making experimentation easier.

Mr. Bedell advises insurance executives to step back and access where they are, and where they are going in the gutter. Having a plan and a strategy is very important. Communication is also integral to success. Talking to staff, to producers and to policyholders help insurers gain a better understanding of the issues they face. Those insights help decipher what key stakeholder think, and what they really want.

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