The world in 2025. Do you have a 10 year plan?
By Angela Gregory, RL360
Angela Gregory is RL360s Communications Executive and has been with the company for almost 3
years. She deals with RL360s day to day communications, both internally and externally. She is a
trained journalist and worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years before joining RL360s
Flying cars and robots doing your washing up, thats the future weve been promised for some
2015 was the year Back to the Futures Marty McFly went everywhere by hoverboard and the skies
were filled with flying cars plus, by 2019, just four years from now, Blade Runners Rick Deckart was
tracking down his rogue replicants (genetically engineered versions of humans).
Thats obviously all still Hollywood pie in the sky, nevertheless dont be too quick to scoff. An
internet search for predictions about how well be living our lives in a decades time will yield
thousands of results some as seemingly ridiculous as those found on the silver screen all those
For instance, theres DNA mapping, electric travel and mobile payment systems which of those
wouldve sounded the least bizarre 30 years ago?
Take DNA mapping, which will provide a key to a persons individual genome. The benefits of this
would be life changing and, possibly, life-saving. It will mean a persons likelihood of developing
certain illnesses will be uncovered and, in addition, doctors will be able to drill down to facts such as
how an illness will behave and which medicines will, therefore, be best placed to tackle it.
For our industry, this could fundamentally change the way we work, in particular in the area of
underwriting. Decisions are going to be taken on absolutes rather than likelihoods and this will
obviously impact on the kind of cover a client will receive.
Electric motorbikes and cars have been around for some time now and their popularity is steadily
gathering pace. In the Isle of Man, home of RL360s head office, the world famous TT Races now
include an increasingly popular and competitive electric bike race. But the real breakthrough will
come when air travel can be powered by electricity, making flying cleaner and more efficient.
July 2015 saw an electric plane cross the English Channel for the first time, bringing the reality of
electric flight a step closer. By the time 2025 rolls around, the technology will have developed
significantly further and, who knows, we could be seeing commercial flights on electric aircraft? The
business traveller would enjoy a reduced carbon footprint as a result as well as a much more
peaceful in flight experience without the powering up of noisy engines and possibly cheaper prices.
This can only be good news as air travel is on the increase, with bigger airports and more runways in
the pipeline at most major hubs. It will also have implications as national borders disappear further
for those working internationally.
Its likely that the list of countries in which we work will continue to expand. For instance, the
emergence and continuing growth of the middle classes and a young, well-educated and vibrant
workforce in the developing world will add some new names to that list, particularly in Africa.
Its an area on which those in the financial services industry are keeping a watchful eye.
Mobile payment systems are, without doubt, on the verge of making their presence known
throughout the world. Mobile wallet services Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are all
launching this year for smartphone users and will allow them to pay by swiping their device in front
of a card reader. To add weight to the argument, note that Visa is partnering with Apple and Android
on their projects and Barclaycard has launched its own contactless payment device.
We are without doubt heading towards more and more digital connectivity. Indeed experts say no-
touch interfaces will soon combine with an array of sensors and intelligent back-end systems to form
an Internet of Things. It will mean we are constantly connected to the digital world, and the things,
around us. Technology will become inextricably linked to everything we do therell be no turning
on and off, our daily lives will be one long connection to all of our devices, appliances, entertainment
systems, educational apps and communication systems. Essentially, actual and virtual reality will
merge. Whether that is by way of implanted chip technology or through an external driver remains
to be seen, but theres no question that it will happen its already started, just look at the Apple
Watch and Microsofts HoloLens, plus dont rule out the return of Google Glass in a different guise.
Those operating in the international life industry will have to not only accept these innovations but
embrace them and integrate them into the way they do business. Online applications, online policy
servicing, its no longer a perk but a necessity. If the client is constantly connected then so should we
be. Perhaps we will have to develop and use intelligent technology in order that we can provide a
service to our advisers and clients as and when they require, rather than within the normal hours of
work? To some extent this is already happening with online dealing and applications but its likely
this is just the start of the journey.
Increased connectivity, however, will pose some very real questions regarding privacy. Recent high
profile cases of celebrity cloud accounts being hacked and nude pictures revealed only served to
highlight the tip of the iceberg. If, within a decade, were living our entire lives and running all of our
business online, what will protect us from having our entire lives hacked and exposed?
Privacy tools and technology will have to keep pace and, no doubt, this is where the boom industry
Theres more, obviously. Weve not even covered the implications of Big Data, 3D printing and
nanotechnology - were clearly living through exciting times.
But while keeping pace is going to be an imperative, theres a flip side to the coin. What is going to
make a company stand out in this crowded technological landscape?
We believe its the human touch.
RL360 has built its reputation on its technological advancements but has never, ever lost sight of
the need to do business face-to-face. In this fast-paced world it is that which will give us the edge.
Follow RL360 on LinkedIn to keep up-to-date with all the latest developments and news -