Winning insurers in the digital age will do much more than tick off a checklist of technology capabilities. They know their success hinges on their ability to evolve their corporate culture to not only take advantage of emerging technologies, but also, critically, to embrace the new business strategies that those technologies drive.

A vibrant and successful digital culture will be built on four key pillars. 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. Agile methodologies come to the fore.

The wraparound for all this is an enterprise-wide acceptance of change by people. Whatever their role, people need to expect and embrace 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 even better skills. It means changing the basis for making decisions at every level of the company.

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

Embrace disruption
Instead of focusing primarily on efficiency gains from digital, visionary insurance leaders will embrace digital disruption as part of their corporate DNA. They will inspire their people with a vision of how technology enables processes to be done differently—to be done better—so that the business can follow a completely new direction.

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’s boundaries—playing a lead role in the formation and coordination of existing and future ecosystems.

Digital trust
Change at the pace we’re seeing in the digital economy also creates new areas of risk. Digital insurers will encounter and create risks that traditional insurers were never exposed to: new security vectors; responsibility for consumer privacy; demand for transparent use of data; and questions around the ethical use of new technologies. Security, privacy and digital ethics can’t be reverse-engineered around a technology; instead, they must be integral to the development process from the outset.
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