In my last post, I discussed some of the findings of the recent Accenture survey on digital innovation, including the observation that many insurers expect to make acquisitions of digital insurance start-ups, telematics companies, and analytics firms, among others, to accelerate their digital progress.

The Digital Insurer Accenture Digital Innovation Survey 2014: Seizing the opportunities of digital transformation
Read the report.

As with other initiatives, including investments in home-grown digital innovation, insurers have to be careful about how they spend scarce resources.  The survey found that 60 percent of insurers view their investments in digital as “exploratory.” Only 22 percent said that investments made by their organization are focused on driving truly disruptive innovations. A full one-fifth (21 percent) of insurers don’t have a digital strategy in place, while one-third (32 percent) have implemented a digital strategy that is limited to sales and distribution or to customer interaction processes only. Less than half (47 percent) of respondents have a digital strategy in place that covers the entire value chain.

A successful strategy won’t be confined to digitizing existing processes.  Rather, the strategy will look at insurance from the customer’s perspective.  This means becoming a digital business, not just an insurer with some digitally delivered products.  It also may mean thinking outside the confines of the traditional insurance business.  A digital insurance business may involve new kinds of partnerships and new kinds of products, including some non-insurance offerings such as home security, smart sensors or car maintenance.

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