We have seen disruption in many different industries – look at what Uber or Airbnb have done in their respective industries. They are perfect examples of disruption, a radically new way of delivering a service or product. Each market is different, but disruption is normally reliant on several different circumstances coming together to prime the industry for change. Is this what is currently happening in the Travel Risk Management industry?
The Development Of Travel Risk Management
Historically, Travel Risk Management has been delivered as a service-based product, with a reliance on a range of manual roles, from analysts to security consultants. Over time, we have seen a limited use of technology start to emerge, enabling certain services, such as tracking an employee through a flight booking. As technology developed and became more accessible to the average business traveller, Travel Risk Management companies were able to develop new solutions.
This hasn’t necessarily been a case of disruption, but rather an evolution over time. Most industries don’t realise they are being disrupted until it’s already happened. So, I ask again, are we currently seeing a disruption in Travel Risk Management?
Why do I pose this question now? There are a wide range of factors for Travel Risk Management companies to consider, and these factors will change from company to company, but I want to focus on three specific trends that I am noticing in the industry at this time.
Agile Risk Management
Firstly, many organisations are beginning to adopt a more agile approach to risk management. They are employing smaller, but ultimately more effective security departments. These departments aren’t just filled with ex-military or former police personnel, either. With a wider range of individuals working in security departments, we are seeing a shift away from “traditional” methods, and organisations are now beginning to embrace new, more effective services that provide greater value for money.
The Role of Technology
The second trend centres around the advancement of technology. We no longer require a traveller to carry a bulky tracker to know where they are. It doesn’t need to take hours to manually complete multiple travel risk assessments. All of this can be done more cost effectively and more dynamically with the use of technology.
A Changing World
Finally, the world operates differently now to how it did even a few years ago. Look at how people use social media – they might only watch a minute, or even just seconds of a video. They use video calls as part of their everyday life. They expect that most daily functions within business can be done on the go, or with an app.
However, across the industry, some people are still simply accepting that what they used to do is still the right service. I am not saying that it is wrong, necessarily, but this mentality should be reviewed. Often people say to me that they are looking for something new, but don’t know what ‘new’ looks like.
These trends can create a fertile ground for an industry that is in the process of being disrupted. Where are we in this cycle? Are we slowly evolving, heading for a big change, or currently being disrupted, and we just haven’t noticed yet?
It would be great to hear the views of the different professionals out there.