Technology, Risk, and the iPad

During a recent visit to my daughter's college, I listened to a speech by the school's vice president of technology. While discussing the varied technological benefits the school offers, she said something that resonated with -- and even shocked -- me: "The iPad will change the world."

This seemed to be an obvious overstatement. However, then I reflected on the history of technology and the printed word. A sampling:

Steve Purdham, CEO of We7, believes this will lead to a fundamental shift in the way the written media operates. Old school brick-and-mortar publishers, content providers, and so on will need to reinvent themselves to ride the hurtling wave of technology. The iPad will drive pay-per-use subscription services. The distributing licenses will be the publishing of the future. No longer will we purchase physical text books. Rather, the content will be used on the iPad -- or Nook or Kindle -- under a license. The same type of impact may develop throughout the business world.

Risk and insurance implications may arise as companies are forced to shift traditional roles and enter this more ethereal cyber world. Insurers and brokers should be cognizant of their insureds' evolving exposures and changing insurance needs.

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