Recently, I heard a Piper Jaffray analyst report that sales of moderately priced watches are declining - mainly because kids (anyone under 21?) don't think they need them. Apart from some slacker-related reasons ("I'm just not that concerned about what time it is."), the main cause of the slump is that one no longer needs a watch to tell the time. Cell phones, laptops and iPods are among the easily accessible devices that can provide this information to people of any age. Interestingly, sales of high-end watches are booming. However, that doesn't seem to be because of their time-reporting value; rather, as people mature, watches appeal to them as fashion accessories.
The fate of watches - in some ways, the ultimate mobile technology - could provide some useful lessons for insurers, especially when it comes to their approaches to policy issuance and administration, the theme of this issue's Connected Enterprise report. Changing demographics and market segmentation opportunities, technology innovation, profitable product features, and pricing and marketing strategies - these matters are as critical for carriers and solutions providers as they are for watch manufacturers and retailers. As the industry starts to focus on younger consumers, nothing about the ways in which insurers interact with them (including the policy, literally the contract that details that relationship) can be taken for granted. But what kinds of changes are the right changes? In this issue of Connected Enterprise we explore what's behind a burgeoning new wave of investment in policy admin systems.
Visit ConnectedEnterprise to learn more about what's driving change in policy administration. Additionally, a live webcast on August 15, produced by I&T and CSC, will examine how insurers are trying to transform the policy issuance process.
Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio