For many years, the techniques, processes and methods of financial product and service development have been dominated by supply-side issues and constraints, giving rise to a financial industry oriented towards price and profits rather than consumer need. Against a backdrop of shifting economic conditions, complex regulatory requirements, direct sales and increased competition; organisations will need to be more consumer focused as pressure continues on price, margins and profitability.

To achieve the levels of complexity, flexibility and time-to-market required by consumers, a radical shift is required in the definition and delivery of highly personalised products and services with a more demand-centric view; leading to solutions which will be delivered transparently, in line with expectations of a highly competitive landscape.

Already, there are some signs that this approach is being adopted by the industry, as innovative models emerge that focus on the design and delivery of products and services rather than the pure distribution of packaged offerings and access gateways to niche markets. In fact, many Brokers now feature various value-chain functions historically performed by insurers, as part of their standard service offering.

Start your engines…

Traditionally, organisations have failed to deliver against this promise of new models and client service personalisation, due to the increased levels of operational and regulatory complexity, at both a micro and macro level, that the delivery of this innovation requires. Fundamentally, the issue herein lies not with the design but with the complexity of delivery.

It is at this juncture where the rise of smart-systems, underpinned by complex event processing engines (CEP), will address these needs by focusing on information flow as streams of observable and actionable events. The key idea is that these events can be filtered and transformed to enable the exploration of temporal, causal and semantic relationships among the events and to make sense of them in a timely fashion. Fundamentally, CEP engines reveal opportunities and threats before or as soon as they emerge and can serve to diagnose and execute decisions in a time-constrained fashion.

It is clear that to remain competitive, there is a real need for Brokers to engage with smart-systems in order to deliver products and services that are truly relevant to clients, to quickly respond to their needs in a complex market and move away from a discussion based on price to one based on value.