The surety bond industry is slowly starting to embrace technology. Bonding companies are making use of proprietary software, as well as third party developer software. Agencies rarely make use of custom software, but third party software is becoming more and more useful. Like any other industry, the use of technology increases efficiency. The surety bond industry is cautious and not quick to react by nature. How will technology change the surety market landscape? What will become of those employed by sureties and agencies in this unique industry?
We still have yet to see the end result of jobs lost to technology. The general consensus of academia appears to agree that the jobs lost from embracing technology will be replaced by jobs requiring increased knowledge and experience, thus creating jobs with increased pay. If this true, the surety bond industry will see a decrease in the need for labor of typing bonds, filing, and general office organization. Bonding companies and agencies alike are making their way into the digital age. Applications are being accepted online and are stored on computers, at times there are no paper copies of applications at all. Some surety bonds are starting to be e-filed as well. This means there is no original bond, simply a filing in an electronic database. However, the surety bond industry is still behind the times. Most agencies still communicate by phone and fax only. Some sureties are even slower to evolve than the agencies since there is so much red tape involved to make any changes in the way day to day operations are done. Eventually the entire industry will enjoy the luxuries of technological advances. What will happen to employees that type bonds and assist in other jobs that may be swept away due to technology? If we assume academia’s hypothesis is accurate, then these employees will get additional training so they can operate the software that makes them exponentially more efficient. This will free their time for additional tasks and responsibilities, which of coarse come along with more training and higher pay. Simple math tells us that if takes one to do what previously took thirty, some people will have to be laid off. Academia’s model shows that these individuals will shift to a different industry, possibly even in a newly created job in the technology industry. Ironic, isn’t it?
Any capitalist market is going to have change, as expenses are lowered as efficiency increases. The technological age our society has entered has forced the entire work force to change more rapidly than ever. Companies within the surety industry will see major changes in day to day operations. However, the changes that are to come should only benefit everyone in the long end.