Adapt and Succeed

Adapt and Succeed

Brian Desmond

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I’ve worked at Guidewire, a servant of the Property/Casualty insurance industry, for more than nine years. I feel privileged to know people who have worked in, and in support of, the industry for thirty years or more. Based on what I have seen and learned, I feel confident in this observation: P/C insurance has changed more in the last few years than in the previous few decades, and the pace of change will continue to quicken in the years ahead. Nine years ago, I observed that the dominant discussion was “build or buy,” with the question being whether packaged software was up to the task of replacing mainframe-based legacy systems. Today, the trends being discussed are compelling and many in number. Examples include the rising expectations for digital engagement; the decline in auto risk as more safety features are built into cars and people opt to rideshare vs own their own vehicles; the emergence of new risks such as supply chain interruption; the adoption of drones in insurance; the increase in insurance-relevant data streams; and new ways to sell and engage with customers, including some brand leaders from other industries that are entering the P/C industry. This is only a partial list; there are many more trends.

Given the amount and pace of change, it feels like we’re in a new era for P/C insurance. It feels like there are serious consequences for insurers given the opportunities and threats involved. Therefore, it is more important than ever for insurers to define and execute based on a mission; to excel in the areas they deem to be strategically important; and to be equipped to continually adapt and succeed over the long-term. I believe it is critically important that insurers define a journey that is unique and authentic for them, rather than to try to be something they are not. Why react and copy someone else? Is that path likely to inspire employees and customers? Will it lead to a thriving brand? No.

There are consequences for Guidewire too. We build software exclusively for P/C insurers and are passionate about the role technology plays. We are responsible for ensuring our customers are equipped to adapt and succeed in this time of rapid change, to engage and empower their customers and employees, now and in the future. We have an obligation to each customer to ensure that they succeed in their journey. To learn more about our vision, what we believe in, and what we do, we invite you to watch this two-minute video with Marcus Ryu, Guidewire’s CEO.