A wave of change is starting to swamp trucking

Even the risk managers aren’t sure just how disruptive new technologies will be

April 26, 2017
No one knows the true disruptive impact of new technologies

It’s one thing for trucking executives to find it hard to get their hands around the various disruptive technologies beginning to affect their businesses.

[Go here, here and here to get further insight into just a few of them.]

That’s quite understandable, for no one truly knows just what the end result will be as all these new endeavors start changing how freight is booked, moved, and ultimately delivered to its final destination.

But it’s an entirely different thing altogether when the folks who are supposed to specialize in risk assessments find themselves stumped concerning the “disruptive potential” of new technologies such as autonomous vehicles (AVs), the Internet of Things (IoT), even telematics, which certainly isn’t “new” to anyone in trucking.

Yet that’s one of the findings from the 14th annual Excellence in Risk Management report compiled by insurance broker Marsh and RIMS, which stands for the “risk management society.”

Marsh's Brian Elowe

This report finds an “apparent lack of awareness among risk professionals” on existing and emerging technologies, including telematics, sensors, the IoT, smart buildings, and robotics, and their associated risks.

For example, when presented with 13 common disruptive technologies, 24% of the respondents to the survey used to compile this annual report said their organizations did not currently use or plan to use any of them. This is surprising, noted Brian Elowe, Marsh’s U.S. client executive leader and co-author of the report, considering other studies have found more than 90% of companies either using or evaluating IoT technology or wearable technologies.

The report also found that despite the impact disruptive technology can have on an organization’s business strategy, model, and risk profile, a majority of respondents — 60% — said they do not conduct risk assessments around disruptive technologies.

“Today’s disruptive technologies will soon be — and in many cases already are — the norm for doing business,” warned Elowe in the report.

“Such lack of understanding and attention being paid to the risks is alarming,” he stressed. “Organizations cannot fully realize the rewards of using today’s innovative technology if the risks are not fully understood and managed.”

Isn’t that the truth? Yet the problem remains that the risks posed by disruptive technologies are more than likely being understated; even by the experts one would expect would know better than anyone what’s at stake. We’ll see if they can catch up to this tidal wave of change and start offering some assessments regarding its impact – especially for truckers.

About the Author

Sean Kilcarr 1 | Senior Editor

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