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Digital insurance: Creating a culture where technology empowers people

The leading insurers of the future will be built for change, data driven, and digitally risk-aware—and they will embrace rather than fear disruption.

Leveraging the power of digital insurance is no longer simply about incorporating technologies into the organization. It’s about reinventing the insurance organization—and the culture within it—to drive innovation, to drive change, to drive the business into the next generation.

There are four key pillars for a vibrant and successful digital culture that puts people first. Insurers will need to strive to be built for change, be data driven, embrace disruption, and be digitally risk-aware.

Built for change

Moving at the speed required to be a digital insurer means developing new skills, new processes, new products, and whole new ways of working. It may mean launching new businesses or business models. Agile methodologies will come to the fore.

"New IT" will be essential for the digital insurer, with DevOps models and practices to drive continual delivery; service-oriented architecture and the cloud for scalability; software-as-a-service for efficiency; architectures built for agility; and platforms for collaboration.

But all of this will be meaningless without an acceptance of change by the workforce. Whatever their role, the insurer’s people need to expect change, understand its impact and keep pace with it by evolving and adding to their skills.

Data driven

Being truly data driven goes beyond just having better tools or skills for data and analytics. It means changing the basis for making decisions at every level of the insurer.

Instead of relying on gut instinct or traditional experience, or deferring to the most senior person in the room, what’s needed is for data to become so pervasive that it supports insight-driven decision-making throughout the enterprise. This doesn’t just mean people using data—machines must also be equipped to harvest and act on intelligence.

Embrace disruption

Frontrunners in insurance will embrace disruption as part of their corporate DNA. They will inspire their people with a vision for how technology enables things to be done differently and done better.

As a key part of this, they’ll listen carefully to people—customers, partners and employees—using technology as the means to deepen understanding of the emerging needs, requirements and attitudes that drive disruption.

They’ll create and embed strategies to underpin their success in a dynamic world. And they’ll be at the forefront of reshaping their (and others’) industry boundaries—playing a lead role in the formation and coordination of existing and future ecosystems.

Digitally risk-aware

Digital insurers will encounter and create risks that traditional insurers were never exposed to: new security vectors; demand for transparent use of sensitive data; and questions around the ethical use of new technologies.

This means that insurance leaders will inherently need to take digital trust into consideration in everything they do. Security, privacy and digital ethics cannot be reverse-engineered around a technology; instead, they must be integral to the development process from the outset.

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