The Accenture Digital Innovation Survey 2014 reveals important information about how insurers think about and approach digital technologies. One notable finding was that approximately one in four insurers is a Digital Transformer: poised to take the lead in digital transformation, and to achieve significant benefits as a result.

For Digital Followers who wish to jump-start their digital business journey, Accenture recommends four steps:

1. Set the direction. Digital transformation is no small undertaking, so it is critical for insurers to have a clear picture of what they want to achieve, how they will achieve it and how they will measure success. A strong business case goes a long way to keeping projects on track, and to obtaining buy-in from key supporters.

2. Aim for quick wins. Large projects can be daunting. Quick wins enable team members to gain momentum from successes, and quickly adapt to failures. Prototyping initiatives can help determine which have the strongest market impact—and therefore, where to build on success.

3. Scale up. Based on successful prototypes, insurers can scale up their efforts and deploy a digital strategy. While digital projects are inherently technology-driven, it is important to remember that the underlying change is one of company culture. Getting buy-in from key leaders is critical, as is clear and transparent communication about the importance of the transformation.

4. Foster a digital ecosystem. Digital transformation affects an insurer’s entire enterprise, and requires global thinking. Even after a digital transformation project is complete, insurers can continue to launch progressive releases and implement continuous improvements. Setting up a global digital organization to manage the ongoing change is key to success.

Digital innovation in insurance - The digital business journey
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Above all, the key attributes of an effective digital strategy are agility and flexibility. Disruptive forces, by their very nature, are unpredictable—so insurers must build business and operating models that can adapt quickly and effectively. Accenture recommends four guiding principles for insurers to bear in mind when implementing a digital strategy. Learn more with the Accenture Digital Innovation Survey 2014, including our interactive data visualization tool.

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