Jim Daggett is co-founder and executive director of the Insurance Technology Association. Periodically he checks in with
the ITA membership to discuss plans and issues for the coming
months. In this issue, Daggett discusses the theme for ITA LIVE
2017 and its relationship with a new feature debuting in this
month’s issue of ITA Pro.
You’ve announced the date and location for ITA
LIVE 2017. Why were those changes made?
Daggett: It’s hard to believe I’m writing this, but ITA LIVE 2017
will be our third annual conference. It’s been met with increasing
interest and support by the insurance community and our goal
is to make each year’s event better than the last one. We changed
the dates this year to hold ITA LIVE from March 12-14, because
we feel that will be a better fit for what has become an increasingly busy time of the year. Because it is just before spring, we will
continue to have the event in a warm-weather location, although
we are moving the event to Pompano Beach, Fla., at the Fort
Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa.
How did you pick the theme for ITA LIVE 2017?
Daggett: We selected “Launchpad: Time to Soar” for our theme
because we feel it reflects where the insurance industry stands
today. We are on the cusp of an exciting era for insurance; probably the most exciting time in the industry’s history. There is a
great deal of activity and the wonderful part about it is it’s coming
from multiple directions. Solution providers have typically led
the charge when it comes to innovation with their R&D budgets,
but more carriers are looking at sparking innovation from within.
Add the interest that venture capital and private equity firms have
demonstrated in the last year and you realize it is a great time to
be in insurance, particularly insurance technology.
There is a new feature beginning in this issue
of ITA Pro, also called Launchpad. Can you ex-
plain the connection and what this new feature
means for the ITA audience?
Daggett: Which came first, the Launchpad theme for ITA LIVE
2017 or the Launchpad feature in ITA Pro Really, the two ideas
blossomed together and that is why we are incorporating both
of them into the ITA mission. Jennifer Overhulse, who has been
a sharp observer of the insurance technology world for about 15
years, discussed with us the need to focus on where the industry
is headed with new players and new capital being invested and we
felt she would be an excellent choice to contribute to the maga-
zine. Each issue she will be looking at different aspects of what is
now being referred to as
insurtech. Her first article
focuses on what insurtech
actually is and can be
found on page 22 of this
issue of ITA Pro.
The ITA is nearing
the end of its third
full year. How excited are you about
growth and where
that leads the ITA?
Daggett: The topics that
we discussed in our early
issues of the magazine remain relevant today, but
with so much happening
since the fall of 2013,
when we first began this dream, we never could have imagined where the industry would be headed in such a short time
and how crucial it has become for business and IT leaders to
stay up-to-date on the issues that face the industry. We will
continue to assist through the content we present daily on our
website; eight times a year in ITA Pro magazine; weekly in the
ITA Pro Weekly enews; and annually through ITA LIVE. Some
of our growth was anticipated, but we learned quickly to keep
our eyes on the edge of the horizon for what is coming next.
The insurance industry is undergoing change,
particularly in the area of technology. What
do you see transpiring in the coming years in
terms of change?
Daggett: Innovation is difficult to predict. Most industry
observers felt big changes were coming from outside the industry in the form of some of the large technology companies,
but right now it seems much of the innovation is coming from
people who are already familiar with the industry and have
the background needed for large insurance carriers and venture capital companies to invest their money. The key to recent
innovation has been its focus on the customer and I believe
that will remain the spotlight for innovation in the months
to come. It’s impossible to predict what will happen in two or
three years when we have witnessed the speed of the short-term changes that have occurred in the past year. ITA
Plans Underway for ITA LIVE 2017
New dates, theme announced for ITA’s annual conference.
Inside the ITA
March 12–14, 2017
Pompano Beach, FL