"I'd expect to see a few competitors not around in the next three to six months".
That's what Bruce McIndoe, CEO of iJet International told me during a recent interview. Having acquired WorldAware from Aon and red24 last year McIndoe knows it's not just iJet that is looking to take over "little players" and narrow the number of travel risk companies out there.
He says risk and travel managers in large companies are looking for "more substance" from risk management firms and there are "too many" small operators.
"The quality of products is higher now and travel risk companies need capital to invest in technology and innovation. Then [once they have capital and product] they need to deliver on service; there's a global reach and the amount of people working for them to consider," he explained.
When it comes to technology, risk companies are dealing with the same areas as everyone else from language and mapping to user experience and wearables. What's difficult is to personalise but McIndoe believes artificial intelligence and voice interaction could help solve the challenge.
The bigger picture is there is a shift in travel buyers that aren't just thinking about travel risk management but what McIndoe describes as people risk management. In light of incidents such as the Brussels bombing attacks, companies like Ericsson are taking on safety and security services and engagement that are available to all staff regardless of where they are working. It means that the hand holding of a risk company is there for everyone at all times.
This is a good development, not just for the mobile workforce but for those travelling into the office. And perhaps what becomes the norm in the everyday will become the norm for taking a trip too.