Writing a blog with predictions for the future is about as risky as sky diving without a parachute. Who could have predicted that 2021 would still have multiple cities and countries across the world grappling with COVID-19? On top of the pandemic, in 2021 the United States endured surprisingly unrelenting weather events and widespread social unrest and protests. Maybe we should rethink writing a December blog of what’s ahead in 2022?
We’ll give it a try anyway, because if there’s a silver lining to the challenges of the current times, it’s that we are all learning how resilient we are, and business continues to move forward. Here are a few of the things that we at MGA Systems think that 2022 will bring in the MGA and program administrator space:
- Continued investments in technology and data analytics tools: According to the recent presentation of the TMPAA State of Program Business Study 2021, investments in technology and data analytics will ensure a bright future for the program administrators’ niche. Data are valuable assets to any business – especially the more accurate and complete. This data allows a program administrator to make faster, better-informed decisions.
- Appetite for artificial intelligence increases: Evidently, we collectively create about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Data, however, are useless if we can’t successfully mine the information to help prevent and solve problems, predict trends and create opportunities. Experts foresee that insurance companies will increase their spending on artificial intelligence (AI), climbing to $3.4 billion by 2024. AI and other technology advances will help us make more effective use of the mounds of data we’re collecting.
- Focus on cybersecurity: The importance of cybersecurity will increase as we strive to protect the data of our prospects, customers, employees – and our own businesses’ proprietary and financial data. The array of tools used to monitor, measure and remediate cybersecurity issues will grow in the insurance space as will the use of penetration tests and vulnerability scans. The interest in cybersecurity is evident in the increase in the percentage of insureds purchasing cyber coverage increasing from 2018 to 2020, according to the TMPAA study.
- Working from home or a hybrid work experience are expected to be the new norms: Most companies (when the type of business allows) seem to be ready to embrace a remote workforce entirely, or at least a hybrid version. The days of employees coming to the office from 8 am to 5 pm are probably gone forever – or at least for the near future. To thrive in this environment, we should maintain and enhance the remote work environment that COVID-19 forced on us. We need to increasingly leverage automation and collaboration tools, while consistently over-communicating with our teams. More software tools will be developed that are geared toward fulfilling the collaboration needs of geographically distributed teams. And, if embracing the hybrid model, it seems companies may be working to accommodate safe collaboration and mixed-use spaces.
- Support our staff members: As COVID-19 becomes manageable and our economy becomes more robust, we also need to embrace (figuratively, of course) our employees. We are experiencing a time in which they have been through almost two years of uncertainty and upheaval. Employees now seem willing to make job or career changes and they have more options if they can continue as remote workers. Being close to home for a job is no longer a requirement. To maintain our quality workforce, we need to ensure our employees enjoy job satisfaction, feel valued and are engaged with our companies’ missions and goals. Consider employee appreciation programs, training opportunities, attendance at educational conferences, competitive employee benefits and other ways to retain valued employees when the job market really takes off.
- Active consolidation in the industry: Mergers and acquisitions may continue to be robust as there is pent-up demand in the post-COVID world as well as attractive, low interest rates.
- Strategic partnerships add value: We probably can’t be all things to all people, so strategic partnerships are important as companies seek to provide a depth and breadth of automation solutions to their customers. Look for open integrations, APIs to connect desperate systems and partnerships to flourish in the near future.
As we embark on 2022, with the worst of the pandemic behind us, we predict a year of growth and opportunities for MGAs and program administrators. To see how we can support you with any of your goals for the coming year, please contact us at (877) 790‑1114 or check out the Solutions section of our website.