Forty-six percent of insurers expect to integrate blockchain into their systems in two years or less, according to the Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2018. This technology is about to reshape a very traditional industry and the early adopters will set the pace. To form frictionless partnerships, insurers must overcome legacy technology and other barriers. This won’t be an overnight revolution, but we all know how fast two years can go by.

A cloud-enabled hybrid approach, where third-party public services are used as well as on-premise private services, is best suited to large enterprises seeking to shed the weight of legacy technology. This will allow insurers to reshape their business to meet the demands of the digital age and enable digital partnerships.

Organizations are also increasingly joining blockchain consortia, such as Hyperledger and Ethereum Enterprise, which have well over 100 members. As a member of a consortium, insurers can be part of the solution and begin to build mutually-beneficial partnerships.

Insurers should also look to build relationships with technology companies like insurtech startups. Incumbents will benefit from the innovation and flexible mindset of startups, who in turn will benefit from insurers’ financial strength, regulatory knowledge and droves of data.

In all of these scenarios, blockchain can be both the catalyst to change and the tool that enables frictionless partnerships within complex ecosystems. When all parties have access to the same immutable transactions in real-time and when services such as claims can be triggered and automated from a customer’s smartphone or a delayed flight timer, insurers will be able to innovate and scale. I, for one, am excited about the future of blockchain technology in insurance.

Learn how to prepare for rapid blockchain adoption in Accenture’s report,  Unblocking Blockchain , and read Accenture’s Technology Vision for Insurance 2018 report  to learn more about the trends impacting the industry.

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