How can insurers optimize the impact of their technology investments?
It’s a common situation. You’ve invested heavily in a variety of digital technologies, but the outcomes have been disappointing. Your board is demanding answers: your competitors made similar investments yet are growing at twice the pace that you are—where are you going wrong?
Our Future Systems Survey has analyzed what it is that sets insurance digital leaders apart from the pack. Drawing on this analysis, the report spells out how insurers can avoid the ‘innovation achievement gap’—the difference between their actual and potential returns on investment in new technology.
Insurance Leaders set to double their revenue
Our study provides insights that distinguish three groups of organizations. The Leaders achieved scores in the top 10 percent of our sample in relation to technology adoption across the organization and overall readiness for this adoption. The Laggards made up the bottom 25 percent and the Middlers came in between the two outlying groups.
The growing difference between leaders' and Laggards' growth rates
Collaboration and culture are key differentiators
The Future Systems Survey found that while investment in key technology is necessary, it isn’t enough to ensure market leadership. Fragmented investments result in too many disparate systems operating in technology silos. These silos often preclude collaboration between various parts of the business and fragmented decision making seldom reflects strategic business goals.
Insurance Leaders and Middlers have been more successful in eliminating cultural barriers.
Q. To what extent do you agree with the following statement?
Insurers must get over the BAR
Insurance Leaders and those of the Middlers closest to the Leaders are building future-ready systems that are Boundaryless, Adaptable and Radically human.
Three practical steps to maximize business impact
To implement future-ready insurance systems and derive optimal benefits, insurers need to develop both a tactical and a strategic vision and plan. This must include appropriate investment across many new technologies. Our research shows that leaders take three practical steps to maximize the business impact of their vision and plan:
- Focus on important non-IT related areas
Collaboration between IT and non-IT workers, as well as change management and the development of personal skills and capabilities, are absolutely crucial to the success of underlying future-ready insurance IT systems.
- Break down technology silos and establish a technology ecosystem
Technology’s ability to realize revenue growth can be hamstrung by the entrenchment of silos in many insurance companies—across data, infrastructure and applications. The challenge demands an enterprise-level shift away from departmental silos—because truly agile firms are twice as likely as the average financial services organization to achieve top-quartile financial performance.
- Modernize legacy technology
Leaders’ agile IT systems leverage the cloud and are decoupled to enable customer-centricity. Leaders adopt IT earlier, reinvest in the technologies sooner, and show higher levels of technology expertise than their competitors.
Planning your path
The findings of our Future Systems Survey confirm that the cause of sluggish growth is not under-investment in crucial technology, but rather shortcomings in the way these investments are planned and managed, how they are used to transform the workforce, and the corporate mindset that influences all decisions and behavior.
As part of this study, Accenture has developed a diagnostic tool that analyzes your technology RoI and identifies the remedial actions that would have the greatest and most immediate effect. We would welcome the opportunity to share this with you, to help you develop a fact-based roadmap to impact maximization. Please contact one of our authors to get the conversation started.