RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • The Accenture Future Systems Survey has identified the key technology-related differences between industry leaders and laggards.
  • Insurers could miss out on 37% of their annual revenue by 2023.
  • Laggards are prone to an ‘innovation achievement gap’—the difference between their actual and potential returns on investment in new technology.
  • Learn our three practical steps to creating future-ready insurance IT systems and maximizing your IT investment.


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

The graph illustrates the growing difference between Leaders and Laggards.

Based on notional $10bn in revenues for given insurance Leader and Laggard counterpart in 2015, a 37 percent revenue gap is expected in 2023.

In 2018, insurance laggards had 10% in forgone annual revenue. If they don’t change, they could miss out on as much as 37% of their annual revenue by 2023.

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?

The graph illustrates that Insurance Leaders and Middlers have been more successful in eliminating cultural barriers
Insurers that have the right mindset recognize the importance of cultural integration.

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.

Boundaryless

Systems that blur boundaries between:

  • The IT stack
  • Humans and machines
  • Organizational and industry silos

Adaptable

Systems that provide scalability and strategic agility:

  • Seamlessly adapting to business and technology change
  • Flexible, living architectures and new ways to protect and nurture data

Radically human

Future Systems can:

  • Empower humans to interact with machines
  • Adapt to humans, not the other way around

View All

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Nicola Bosisio​

Managing Director – Technology Strategy, Insurance


Darcy Dague​

Managing Director – Accenture Financial Services, Insurance, North America


Abizer Rangwala

Managing Director – IT Strategy​

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Future-ready systems: The leadership difference

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Accenture’s report shares three practical steps to creating future-ready insurance IT systems and maximizing your IT investment. Read more.

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