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Insurers are currently prioritizing investment in four change areas, in all of which they expect to increase resource allocation within the next 12 months. Accenture’s 2017 Financial Services Change Survey interviewed 292 insurers, and found their companies are dedicating significant resources to efficiency and cost control, customer service and experience, risk and regulatory compliance, and digital technology and channels. While these are the investment priorities, it’s interesting to note that change leaders –those driving change most successfully in the industry – are getting better results in all areas when compared to their peers.
Efficiency and cost control
Reducing costs is a top priority for most insurers. Currently, 37 percent are investing significantly in better efficiency and cost control programs. As the investment category most likely to increase over the next 12 months, 67 percent of insurers expect to be investing more in this area in the next year.
Insurers would do well to pay attention to their change-leading peers. Ninety-six percent of change leaders achieved the cost benefits they were targeting, compared to only 65 percent of other insurers. Furthermore, 87 percent of change leaders improved commercial performance in this area, compared to 69 percent of other insurers.
Customer service and experience
Investing in customer service and experience is tightly interwoven with investing in new digital technologies, which are used to improve the customer experience and lower the cost to serve. The customer experience, channels and services is collectively the most important internal driver behind insurers’ change programs. In addition, 74 percent of insurers say shifts in customer expectations is a leading external driver of change.
While 37 percent of insurers are currently investing significantly in better customer service and experience, 61 percent expect to increase that amount in the next 12 months. In terms of results, 56 percent of change leaders reported increased commercial performance from their change programs in this area, compared to 49 percent of other insurers.
Risk and regulatory compliance
Unsurprisingly, risk and regulatory compliance is another change priority. Thirty-five percent of insurers are investing significantly in this area currently and 54 percent expect to increase their investment in the next 12 months.
Change leaders have experienced the biggest success with risk and regulatory compliance change programs. One hundred percent of change leaders have increased commercial performance due to these changes, compared to only 61 percent of other insurers.
Digital technology and channels
Thirty-five percent of insurers are currently investing significantly in new digital technologies, of which big data and analytics, mobile, the Internet of Things, cloud and social are the most important in the delivery of change programs. These either didn’t exist or were nascent only five years ago. Sixty-one percent of insurers expect to increase their investment in this area in the next 12 months.
Sixty-one percent of change leaders, which are more strategic in their approach to digital, have improved commercial performance through these change programs, compared to 57 percent of other insurers.