The Digital Innovation Story of Your Industry
There will be an abundance of digitally driven opportunities arising in the post-Covid world, but as with all things, every industry will have its own story. For manufacturers, that may take the form of highly networked, intelligent machines. In healthcare, it may mean delivery of services via telemedicine. Every industry has different digital touchpoints. Below, we share what observers within selected industries say what entrepreneurs and innovators can be looking at in the world emerging in 2021:
Insurance —Raising speed limits: Insurance has long been a fairly conservative industry — but with the entry of Insurtech companies that are looking to digitize many aspects of the industry, things are changing fast. “We’ve seen more excitement in technology than ever – and are predicting more innovation in the next decade than we’ve seen in several decades prior,” says Matt Foster, chief operating officer of Duck Creek Technologies. “Lots of fast movers, lots of reasons to innovate and, while insurance isn’t usually the first to move, once disruption begins, organizations move quickly.”
SaaS and cloud platforms are delivering this acceleration, Foster says. ”Insurance is migrating to SaaS so they can focus on delivering insurance better – they do not want to be consumed by the previously-mentioned weight of data centers or vendor integrations. These are often barriers for startups and companies of all sizes to moving fast, and its where SaaS really delivers on value and boosts the reality and viability of getting good business ideas to market.”
“Not every purchase will take place without the need for a human, consultative touch, but engagements will increasingly start digital,” Foster adds. “In insurance, we’ve already seen this take hold on personal lines, but we’re also now seeing increased interest in more traditional commercial lines for both selling and servicing through digital channels. While insurance relies on very infrequent consumer touch points, customers are still often looking for a consultative approach. This will remain, but in today’s environment, consumers will first start the buying process digitally.”
Healthcare: Telehealth is here: “The technology that will lead to the next economic boom is telemedicine,” predicts Will O'Connor, CMIO of Tigerconnect. Frost & Sullivan projects 7X growth in telehealth by 2025 as the pandemic continues to reshape care delivery, he relates. “During Covid-19, connecting with healthcare professionals on your phone rocketed from a fringe idea to a mainstream force in a matter of months. Patients are realizing there is no reason to slog through traffic for a five-minute non-urgent appointment when you can check in from your home, get reminders via text message and have a face to face conversation over video. Virtual care is one welcome cost-cutting and time-saving revolution whose time has come – and could well prompt a broader tech revolution across healthcare — at last.”
Education: Platform as classroom: “Nothing spurs innovation like people experiencing problems, and right now, remote education comes with a slew of paint points,” says Adam Enbar, CEO and co-founder of Flat Iron School. “Educators are relying on Zoom and Slack to teach and engage with students, but we’re realizing it’s falling short in replicating the traditional classroom experience. The truth is that it was never meant to be a substitute. In fact, no ed-tech tool or platform can or should replicate the in-person classroom; tech’s role is to create new experiences altogether. Zoom and Slack usage will go down when things are back to normal. In lieu of these tools, we'll see a boom in technology that is built by entrepreneurs looking to create entirely new experiences custom to the remote classroom experience.”
Amazon: Pay attention... Amazon is currently rolling out their own version of "mail order" pharmacy. It's a market segment begging to be disrupted. It's a $4 trillion market. It's going to happen.
These are but a few examples. Think about the digital touchpoints in your business. You can be assured that digital disruption is coming to the industry you're in. COVID-19 isn't an agent of change, it's an accelerant. Think about how you position yourself and your business in these rapidly changing times.