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“Technology and the Future of Work” at Distribution Conference for Financial Services

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The term shifting sands is usually used to emphasize that something changes frequently, making it difficult to deal with and thus make plans. But the need for change also can lead to great opportunity.

The theme for this year’s 2019 Distribution Conference for Financial Services – “Shifting Sands: Find Your Footing” seems perfect for conveying both the challenges and the opportunities that you are dealing with as a professional in the distribution of life and annuity products and services.

During my general session, Technology and the Future of Work, on Friday, March 1, from 9:30-10:30 AM, I hope to influence your perception about all of the changes that have occurred and will continue to occur with regards to people, process and technology. No one will argue that the pace of technological change has increased exponentially over the recent past. No longer are we dealing with one “hot topic” at a time, but rather revolutionary capabilities are coming rapid-fire from all angles.

All of these changes have quite literally changed in many ways the way we live. Our expectations related to convenience, personalization, and on-demand ability permeate nearly every aspect of our lives today.

Developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things combined with mobile computing have begun to impact the very way we work. In fact we are entering the fourth Industrial Revolution as a result.

Whereas the previous revolutions were powered by technology—machine replacing muscle power, this next revolution involves machines focusing on intelligence. This can be scary or exciting, depending on your point of view. Either way, there is no doubt that you are using or being affected by AI everyday.

How we apply these changes to our daily lives and our work environment will be one perspective that deserves further exploration. How life insurance companies apply these new technologies to their distribution model and, most importantly, their producers and customers is not something that will wait for the future. The winds of change are already shifting these sands.

With the power of AI, insurance companies now have the ability to improve client experiences by providing more timely, accurate, complete and consistent information and advice.  Utilizing AI to augment human decision making is at the core of IBM’s focus. Being transparent and recognizing that our clients’ IP associated with AI belongs strictly to them are principles to which the company is committed.

I hope to expand your perspective on the lay of the land so that you have a better footing for making plans to take advantage of the opportunities these shifting sands afford you.


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Global Insurance Industry Executive; IBM Industry Academy Member

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