A solutions-first approach to technology – March 4th, 2020

Issue 13: On taking a solutions-first approach to technology…and talking about it that way, too.

It’s easy to fall in love with new technology. We all do it sometimes. But we’ve heard a lot of talk and read a lot of headlines recently about the shiniest of the shiny Next Big Things: Blockchain and AI. Yet, for all intents and purposes, it can sometimes feel like we as an industry rush to judgment on new technology before it’s even had a proper Proof of Concept as applied to our challenges.

So why aren’t we talking a little more about the challenges we have—some of them long-standing—and then how new technology can address them? After all, we still have a way to go before our process is airtight!

Of course, there are definitely industry leaders doing just this. I’d just like us to steer the conversation in that direction a bit more directly. The more the merrier when it comes to continuous improvement!

In the coming weeks, Deeper Thoughts will be taking a deeper dive into AI, Blockchain and other “game-changers” that are barely here and likely coming. But we’re going to do this from the perspective of solutions. Let’s have a look at issues like fraud; error or delay in the closing;  standardization of data across states, regions and mortgage processes (e.g. from title to loan officer to REALTOR) and others. Let’s put a name on where the real challenge is. Then let’s see if there’s a fit among some of the shiny new solutions.

For example…

We’ve heard comments about blockchain technology ranging from “we’re years away from it being truly applicable to our industry” (false) to “it will eliminate the title industry” (also, patently, false). But let’s get to one of the issues that’s been at the heart of the title insurance industry for decades: the public records necessary to clear title are anything but standard. From county to county, the data needed to issue spotless title insurance could be hiding anywhere thanks to a misspelled name on a deed or because the name was mis-keyed into an early title plant. Many have tried to standardize the way these records are maintained, but we’re talking about a massive effort in which not all necessary participants are eager to cooperate, much less participate.

So, what would blockchain do to address that multi-million-dollar question?

Stay tuned! Let’s take a look at it together. And, by the way, if you have some challenges you’d like to see us discuss in the context of “new” technology, send them our way! Just email me at jpaolino@lssoftwaresolutions.com.

Until Next Week,

Jim

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