A panellist from a big broker summarised how thinking about data and processes has changed in the industry. Speaking at ITC 2012, he said everybody is realizing what they thought were proprietary processes probably aren't – and if they are, they shouldn't be.
He went on to say his firm no longer writes software, and that everything they do with a counter-party is by necessity non-proprietary. The reality, he said, is that these processes don't bring competitive advantage. It's how well you perform them and how well you integrate them that count.
I applaud the idea that proprietary processes should be regarded with suspicion rather than pride. This is an important evolutionary stage in the industry's development. As outlined elsewhere at the Congress, people in the insurance industry need to know the difference between inventing and innovating, and when each is appropriate. We don't want to be inventing pieces of technology that already exist. We do want to innovate by exploiting what's already out there.