Celent Says

What Does the Post-PC Era Mean for the Insurance Industry?

Craig Beattie
Insurance Experts' Forum, March 23, 2011

Apple announced the new iPad 2 recently and proclaimed the start of the post-PC era. This is part cunning marketing ploy and part an insightful view on today’s average consumer. There was a time when people were screaming for more speed, more memory, more power, but, frankly, those screams now sit only with an elite few with special requirements. Today the machines are fast enough for most, having access to information, the right applications and an ever easier to use interface are most important.

Increasingly computing tasks are no longer being done on desktop machines—even full-size laptops are losing ground. Today, many common computing tasks are being done on mobile computing platforms. Storage of large files and compute-heavy tasks are moving to unseen, hosted servers or cloud infrastructure. The man on the street consumes these services, using whatever device is closest at hand, and most appropriate to the task.

Increasingly, staff entering insurance companies and consumers of insurance will follow this trend. There will be no patience for slow software, no perseverance for software that isn’t easy-to-use and an expectation that they can interact with the insurer in a way that works for them.

It may be some comfort to CIOs that in this new era, the best software and experience will not require an arms race upgrading to the best hardware available every two years. For insurers and vendors of insurance software this announcement forewarns of a raising of the bar, of expectations of insurance software in the future that allows agents, producers, underwriters and consumers of insurance to use their device of choice and still find an intuitive and easy experience.

For more information on our views on mobile and apps have a look our report E-Business Strategies for a New Mobile World and our reports on Apps.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Celent.

Craig Beattie is an analyst in Celent's London Research Group.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Craig using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at cbeattie@celent.com.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (1)

Good, clear-headed observation. The mobile world - the post PC world - also requires us to understand how mobile devices are used differently from desktop. I know for myself I use my phone when I want something right now. I do not want to see a screen full of options like I am used to seeing on a PC or web page. I want the fastest path to the one thing I want.

That new mind set for design is going to be critical if your company is going to deliver something useful. Our industry can not afford to think of this as just another access point to our existing web pages.

I recently reviewed a carrier app for insureds to use when they had a claim. It appeared as if the IT department had designed it with the primary intention of pushing all the data entry out to the insured. There were 7 screens and over 85 data entry fields.

Now imagine yourself as a person who only minutes before had a car accident. How willing do you honestly think you will be to stand on the side of the road - already upset by the accident - and type in all this stuff on your phone?

We need to do better.

Posted by: Duke W | March 25, 2011 1:00 PM

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