What the hell is an ecosystem?
The best way to think of an ecosystem is “the new normal.” Just like iPhones, 4G and vegans, it’s just the way it is. At the risk of bantering around another buzzword that becomes lost in the myriad of “tech talk”, let us explain what it is.
An ecosystem is an interconnected set of services that allows users to fulfil a variety of needs in one integrated experience. Consumer ecosystems currently emerging around the world tend to concentrate on needs such as travel, healthcare, or housing. Business-to-business (B2B) ecosystems generally revolve around a certain decision maker—for example, marketing and sales, operations, procurement, or finance professionals.
Think of it like a cruise ship, everything you need (or possibly don’t) in one place, crossing boundaries and horizons with a group of likeminded people. The most successful companies in the digital era, including Alibaba, Amazon, and Facebook, were all designed on platform business models.
An ongoing drive toward digitisation has put the insurance industry on the verge of a paradigm shift. The pace of change has accelerated thanks to tremendous increases in the volume of electronic data, the ubiquity of mobile interfaces, and the growing power of artificial intelligence. In the early years, companies that digitized were at the forefront of the industry.
Today, digitization has permeated every level of the competitive landscape. Society’s growing reliance on digital technologies is not only reshaping customer expectations but also redefining boundaries across industries. Insurers cannot avoid this phenomenon: as traditional industry borders fall away, the future of insurance stands to be greatly influenced by platforms and ecosystems.
Our discussions around ecosystems will continue at our IFT Summit.
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