This Year, So Far | Embroker June 2024 Newsletter

This Year, So Far | Embroker June 2024 NewsletterAs we reach the midpoint of 2024, it’s time to take stock of the big moves and small changes that have reshaped our business landscape. Groundbreaking AI advancements, evolving cybersecurity threats, and a cautiously optimistic economic outlook have made the first half of this year has been nothing short of…odd.
In this newsletter, we’ll dive deep into the key trends and events that have defined 2024 so far, offering insights that can help you navigate the complex terrain ahead. Whether you’re a tech startup, a law firm, a financial services provider, consultant, or you just love this newsletter, understanding these developments is crucial for staying ahead in today’s rapidly changing business environment.
So, let’s embark on this journey through the first six months of 2024 and explore how these changes might impact your business moving forward.
Let’s get into it.

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What’s Going On?
March 2024: AI Regulation Takes Center Stage as EU AI Act Goes into Effect — TechCrunch | The implementation of the EU’s comprehensive AI regulation has sent ripples through the tech industry, with companies scrambling to ensure compliance. This piece examines the global impact and how businesses are adapting to the new regulatory landscape.
May 2024: Climate-Related Litigation Surges, Putting Businesses on High Alert — Reuters | As extreme weather events continue to make headlines, a new wave of climate-related lawsuits is targeting businesses across various sectors. This article explores the legal implications and how companies are responding to this growing risk.
June 2024: Ransomware Attacks Reach All-Time High, Costing Businesses Billions — Cybercrime Magazine | The first half of 2024 has seen an unprecedented surge in ransomware attacks, with small and medium-sized businesses bearing the brunt. We look at the evolving tactics of cybercriminals and the critical role of cyber insurance in mitigating these risks.
April 2024: Remote Work Becomes the Norm as Major Companies Ditch Office Spaces — Wall Street Journal | In a dramatic shift, several Fortune 500 companies have announced plans to permanently embrace remote work, citing increased productivity and cost savings. This piece examines the implications for commercial real estate and corporate culture.
Tech Industry Developments

The first half of 2024 has been a whirlwind for the tech industry, with AI continuing to dominate headlines. Here are some key developments:

Generative AI Integration: Major tech companies have integrated advanced generative AI into their core products, revolutionizing user experiences across platforms.
Quantum Computing Breakthrough: A significant quantum computing milestone was achieved, opening new possibilities in cryptography and drug discovery.
Tech Layoffs Continue: Though largely out of the news, the tech industry is approaching 100,000 layoffs in 2024.
Tech Regulation: Antitrust efforts have intensified globally, with several high-profile cases against tech giants making their way through the courts.

These developments are reshaping not just the tech landscape, but how businesses across all sectors operate and innovate.
Legal Landscape Changes

The legal industry has seen significant shifts in 2024, adapting to new technologies and societal changes:

AI in Legal Practice: Law firms are increasingly adopting AI for tasks like document review and legal research, improving efficiency and accuracy.
Environmental Law Expansion: With climate change at the forefront, environmental law practices have seen unprecedented growth.
Privacy Law Complexity: The patchwork of global privacy regulations continues to grow more complex, creating challenges and opportunities for legal professionals.
Blockchain and Smart Contracts: The legal framework around blockchain technology and smart contracts is evolving rapidly, with several landmark cases setting important precedents.

These changes underscore the need for businesses to stay informed about legal developments and ensure they have adequate legal coverage.
Cybersecurity Challenges and Innovations

The cybersecurity landscape in 2024 continues to be dynamic and challenging:

AI-Powered Threats: Cybercriminals are leveraging AI to create more sophisticated attacks, necessitating equally advanced defense mechanisms.
Zero Trust Architecture: This security model has become the gold standard for organizations, replacing traditional perimeter-based security approaches.
Cyberattacks and Demands Are Getting Worse: Larger ransoms, bigger paydays for hackers, and more aggressive tactics have businesses on edge.
Supply Chain Security: After several high-profile incidents, supply chain security has become a top priority for businesses and governments alike.

These developments highlight the critical importance of robust cybersecurity measures and comprehensive cyber insurance coverage.
Insurance Industry Trends

The insurance sector has been quick to adapt to emerging risks and changing customer needs:

Trust and Transparency at the Forefront of Innovation: Regulatory changes and an invigorated focus on customer centricity are turning “big insurance: upside down.
AI in Underwriting and Claims: AI and machine learning are revolutionizing underwriting processes and claims handling, improving efficiency and accuracy.
Cyber Insurance Evolution: With the rise in cyber threats, cyber insurance products are becoming more sophisticated and tailored to specific industry needs.
Insurance Needs Backstop Against Major Catastrophes: Environmental disasters are hammering the insurance market as insurers large and small look for solutions.

These trends underscore the insurance industry’s pivotal role in helping businesses navigate an increasingly complex risk landscape.
Consulting Sector Evolution

The consulting industry has been at the forefront of helping businesses adapt to rapid changes:

Digital Transformation Acceleration: Consultants are in high demand to guide companies through comprehensive digital transformations.
Sustainability Consulting Boom: As ESG factors become increasingly important, sustainability consulting has emerged as a key growth area.
AI Strategy Consulting: Firms are developing specialized practices to help clients leverage AI technologies effectively.
Remote Consulting Models: The consulting industry has fully embraced remote and hybrid working models, changing how services are delivered. But, is it driving better results for businesses?

These shifts highlight the consulting sector’s crucial role in helping businesses navigate complex technological and societal changes.
Financial Services Updates

The financial services sector has seen significant developments in the first half of 2024:

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) Growth: DeFi platforms have gained mainstream acceptance, challenging traditional financial institutions.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): Several major economies have launched or are piloting CBDCs, potentially reshaping monetary systems.
AI in Financial Services: AI is being used for everything from fraud detection to personalized financial advice, improving efficiency and customer experiences.
ESG Investing Surge: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors are increasingly driving investment decisions across the industry.

These developments underscore the need for businesses to stay agile and adapt to rapidly evolving financial technologies and practices.
Cross-Industry Themes

Several trends have cut across multiple industries in the first half of 2024:

Sustainability Focus: Companies across all sectors are prioritizing sustainability, driven by regulatory pressures and consumer demands.
Hybrid Work Models: The debate between remote, in-office, and hybrid work continues, with most companies settling on flexible arrangements.
AI Ethics: As AI becomes more prevalent, discussions around its ethical use have intensified, leading to new guidelines and best practices.
Supply Chain Resilience: In response to ongoing global disruptions, businesses are investing heavily in making their supply chains more resilient and diversified.

These trends highlight the interconnected nature of today’s business challenges and the need for holistic, cross-functional solutions.
What’s New from Embroker?
Upcoming Events, Stories, and More
Embroker Introduces Insurance Program for Consultants
Have you heard? We have a new insurance program that’s built exclusively for consultants. Our industry-tailored coverage addresses the specific risks consultants face, including cyber threats, mistakes, and general business exposures.
Embroker & Ascend Webinar: The Future of Agency Accounting
On July 17th, join Embroker CFO, Brian Acks, and Ascend CFO, Andrew Wynn, for an exciting fireside chat on the evolution of finance in insurance. They’ll discuss digitizing the payments process, legacy insurance, insurtech’s developments, and putting customers first.

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gform.initializeOnLoaded( function() {gformInitSpinner( 2, ‘https://d2zqka2on07yqq.cloudfront.net/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg’, true );jQuery(‘#gform_ajax_frame_2’).on(‘load’,function(){var contents = jQuery(this).contents().find(‘*’).html();var is_postback = contents.indexOf(‘GF_AJAX_POSTBACK’) >= 0;if(!is_postback){return;}var form_content = jQuery(this).contents().find(‘#gform_wrapper_2’);var is_confirmation = jQuery(this).contents().find(‘#gform_confirmation_wrapper_2’).length > 0;var is_redirect = contents.indexOf(‘gformRedirect(){‘) >= 0;var is_form = form_content.length > 0 && ! is_redirect && ! is_confirmation;var mt = parseInt(jQuery(‘html’).css(‘margin-top’), 10) + parseInt(jQuery(‘body’).css(‘margin-top’), 10) + 100;if(is_form){jQuery(‘#gform_wrapper_2’).html(form_content.html());if(form_content.hasClass(‘gform_validation_error’)){jQuery(‘#gform_wrapper_2’).addClass(‘gform_validation_error’);} else {jQuery(‘#gform_wrapper_2’).removeClass(‘gform_validation_error’);}setTimeout( function() { /* delay the scroll by 50 milliseconds to fix a bug in chrome */ jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery(‘#gform_wrapper_2’).offset().top – mt); }, 50 );if(window[‘gformInitDatepicker’]) {gformInitDatepicker();}if(window[‘gformInitPriceFields’]) {gformInitPriceFields();}var current_page = jQuery(‘#gform_source_page_number_2’).val();gformInitSpinner( 2, ‘https://d2zqka2on07yqq.cloudfront.net/wp-content/plugins/gravityforms/images/spinner.svg’, true );jQuery(document).trigger(‘gform_page_loaded’, [2, current_page]);window[‘gf_submitting_2’] = false;}else if(!is_redirect){var confirmation_content = jQuery(this).contents().find(‘.GF_AJAX_POSTBACK’).html();if(!confirmation_content){confirmation_content = contents;}jQuery(‘#gform_wrapper_2’).replaceWith(confirmation_content);jQuery(document).scrollTop(jQuery(‘#gf_2’).offset().top – mt);jQuery(document).trigger(‘gform_confirmation_loaded’, [2]);window[‘gf_submitting_2’] = false;wp.a11y.speak(jQuery(‘#gform_confirmation_message_2’).text());}else{jQuery(‘#gform_2’).append(contents);if(window[‘gformRedirect’]) {gformRedirect();}}jQuery(document).trigger(“gform_pre_post_render”, [{ formId: “2”, currentPage: “current_page”, abort: function() { this.preventDefault(); } }]); if (event && event.defaultPrevented) { return; } const gformWrapperDiv = document.getElementById( “gform_wrapper_2” ); if ( gformWrapperDiv ) { const visibilitySpan = document.createElement( “span” ); visibilitySpan.id = “gform_visibility_test_2”; gformWrapperDiv.insertAdjacentElement( “afterend”, visibilitySpan ); } const visibilityTestDiv = document.getElementById( “gform_visibility_test_2” ); let postRenderFired = false; function triggerPostRender() { if ( postRenderFired ) { return; } postRenderFired = true; jQuery( document ).trigger( ‘gform_post_render’, [2, current_page] ); gform.utils.trigger( { event: ‘gform/postRender’, native: false, data: { formId: 2, currentPage: current_page } } ); if ( visibilityTestDiv ) { visibilityTestDiv.parentNode.removeChild( visibilityTestDiv ); } } function debounce( func, wait, immediate ) { var timeout; return function() { var context = this, args = arguments; var later = function() { timeout = null; if ( !immediate ) func.apply( context, args ); }; var callNow = immediate && !timeout; clearTimeout( timeout ); timeout = setTimeout( later, wait ); if ( callNow ) func.apply( context, args ); }; } const debouncedTriggerPostRender = debounce( function() { triggerPostRender(); }, 200 ); if ( visibilityTestDiv && visibilityTestDiv.offsetParent === null ) { const observer = new MutationObserver( ( mutations ) => { mutations.forEach( ( mutation ) => { if ( mutation.type === ‘attributes’ && visibilityTestDiv.offsetParent !== null ) { debouncedTriggerPostRender(); observer.disconnect(); } }); }); observer.observe( document.body, { attributes: true, childList: false, subtree: true, attributeFilter: [ ‘style’, ‘class’ ], }); } else { triggerPostRender(); } } );} );

As we reach the midpoint of 2024, it’s time to take stock of the big moves and small changes that have reshaped our business landscape. Groundbreaking AI advancements, evolving cybersecurity threats, and a cautiously optimistic economic outlook have made the first half of this year has been nothing short of…odd. In this newsletter, we’ll dive […]

Mike McLean

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