Thinking ahead this year there are a few accelerations and changes in the employee benefit technology space that will take place, here are my thoughts: 

  1. Broader platform ecosystem focus - having been involved in this space for 4 years now and watching it develop I think we will see the major flexible benefit platform providers expand their ecosystem beyond core and voluntary benefits to add more value to clients and include another revenue stream as a complete true human capital platform. It is a natural progression and tracks other leading technology providers like Salesforce who introduced the AppExchange in 2005 and today 95 of the Fortune 100 run at least one app from the AppExchange.. Another leading indicator for this  comes from PitchBook’s health tech funding database, eight of the top 10 later-stage funded companies in 2022 are aligned to platform-enabled ecosystems. 

2. AI Applications - we hear and see a lot of the next generation of benefit platforms having generative AI enabled and moving to ‘personalisation 2.0’. 

In 2023 it seemed as though an AI stack was created with LLMs and other models like audio, imagery and video in the cloud with supporting APIs for developers to build on. Just like the browser enabled an era of web apps and the iPhone brought us the era of mobile device apps, it will now happen for AI application. This coming year I expect legacy applications will start (or will be forced) to use AI to enhance their products and most importantly stay competitive against the new technology companies who are AI from their core.

3. Return on investment in benefit technology - investment in people has never been more important for leading organisations however with investment comes scrutiny over performance. I expect to see organisations, particularly those in the traditional wellbeing space, to be challenged on how their solutions link back to value or their people and business performance. What gets measured gets improved. 

This will require organisations to have the brightest minds to develop the thinking behind this and demonstrate through data and analytics. 

In summary I think 2024 will be really exciting for technology in this space. A force to demonstrate ROI will make for broader stakeholder conversations and ultimately improve the lives of more people. There is clearly going to be a large regulatory hurdle but innovation doesn't typically wait for rules. I think the challenge for the larger incumbents will be choosing where to focus resources whilst staying ahead of the disrupters who can move faster and more incentivised to do so. I am relishing the opportunity and challenge at Aon!