The pace of change that innovative technology brings is everywhere we look. Just 10 years ago, no one had heard of an iPhone®.1 Today, over 700 million devices and eight versions later2, we are using them to track our health, monitor the kids, control the air conditioner at home while we’re at work, and much more. To call it a phone understates its value; I don’t know what I would do without mine. Six years ago, Uber did not exist. Today it’s providing more than 1 million rides per day3, is valued over $50 billion4, and doesn’t own the vehicles that its users share. For us as consumers, it’s exciting.

Less evident, but more impactful, is how innovative technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT), is adding value to commercial businesses. To understand this trend as something that solely impacts consumers is a myth. In a recent AIG poll of global risk managers from large multinational companies, disruptive technology and cybersecurity were ranked one and two, respectively, when asked what keeps them up at night. Understandably so, they are two sides of the same coin. While some companies may be losing sleep, others are capitalizing on the fact that twice as many U.S. consumers were optimistic about the IoT than were fearful.5 

The benefits to business are real and here today, as outlined in these case studies. Daimler’s driverless truck is licensed for tests on the open road now. ABB’s tunnel drilling machines are wired for preventative maintenance, and have already saved their users millions of dollars in unplanned downtime. The farms that John Deere’s equipment serves are connected to the cloud at this very moment. Work sites like CitiField are experimenting with Human Condition Safety’s sensor technology now. Just to name a few. 

In 2016, we’ll witness some companies move beyond IoT in the abstract to concrete implementation. Those with their heads still “in the cloud,” so to speak, risk falling behind. Just look at the speakers invited for the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show — IBM, General Motors, Samsung and, for the first time, AIG — for further evidence that some commercial businesses are using technology to innovate quickly. 

In our conversations with AIG customers around the world, one common thread emerges when we talk about how to successfully implement IoT technologies: The only way to keep up is to learn from each other. 

This is true within companies, where keeping pace with rapidly evolving technology and customer demands requires better communication and collaboration. It’s no longer sustainable for departments overseeing research and development, product lines, information technology, financial operations and risk management to operate independently of one another. 

It is also true at the enterprise level. The IoT is breaking down the barriers that once stood within and between industries. New tools, bigger data sets and changing customer expectations are requiring companies that have never seen each other as partners — even companies that historically have competed with one another — to start sharing information and working together to create innovative solutions for the modern digital age. 

Our hope is that by highlighting AIG customers that are implementing innovative technologies including those tied to the IoT ecosystem, we can foster discussion and collaboration within and among previously disconnected industries. It’s all part of our vision to become our customers’ most valued insurer — not just by providing valuable insurance products and high-quality services, but by bringing our clients together to share insights and learn from one another. 

When the solutions are just as innovative and connected as the technology itself, we all win.

    1 iPhone® is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. This publication is independent of and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. 

    2 http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/9/8164357/apple-watch-event-700-millioniphones-sold 

    3 http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenhuet/2014/12/17/uber-says-its-doing-1-millionrides-per-day-140-million-in-last-year/ 

    4 http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/27/investing/uber-ford-gm-70-billion-valuation/ 

    5 AIG poll

     

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