When it comes to digital transformation, are you a follower or a leader? According to Accenture’s most recent research, the next phase of digital transformation in the insurance industry is here – and a bigger gap is starting to emerge between the leaders and the followers.

The Accenture Digital Innovation Survey interviewed 141 C-level insurance executives across Europe, the Americas, South Africa and Japan. These are the people who are responsible for their companies’ digital agendas. We wanted to discover their plans for digital transformation and, most importantly, what they expect to achieve in the process.

One of the key findings of our research was that the gap is beginning to widen between the Digital Transformers and the Digital Followers. Digital Transformers – leaders who are aggressively committed to digital growth within their organizations – comprised about a quarter of the sample. These visionaries represent companies that are determined to lead the industry with game-changing innovations and capabilities. They have high expectations for the investments they’re making in digital change, and they’re committed to fully utilizing its capabilities as a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors and meet the growing expectations of current and future customers.

For example, Digital Followers in the property & casualty sector have set an average annual premium growth goal of 3.9 percent as a result of their digital investments. Digital Transformers are more ambitious, doubling that goal to 7.8 percent, primarily by gaining new customer bases through the use of digital channels. Digital Transformers are also targeting a higher improvement in their combined ratio: 2.3 percentage points compared with the 1.2 percentage points of the Followers.

Digital Transformers are already well established in the digital world. However, their executives agree that the next few years will be critical in determining their organizations’ pace in advancing even further, using new combinations of information, resources and digital technologies to create unique customer experiences – and in the process, to drive growth. Meanwhile, the Followers are using digital technology primarily to enhance existing discrete processes, without changing their business models or pursuing the growth that digital transformation can deliver.

So are you a leader or a follower? The Accenture Digital Innovation Survey can help you answer that question and keep your organization moving in the right direction. Download the report and use our online data visualization tool to find answers to your particular questions.  You can learn more about our findings in an upcoming series of videos that’s available for viewing on YouTube. And follow me on Twitter @JohnMCusano to stay up to date on the latest research!

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