As the next wave of digital technologies matures, it promises to transform the very nature of the insurance organization. According to our Technology Vision survey of approximately 450 insurance executives in 15 countries, 90 percent of carriers anticipate that the pace of technology change will increase rapidly or at an unprecedented rate over the next three years.

What’s heralding this change? We’re seeing:

  • New technologies and solutions.
  • More data than ever before.
  • Legacy and new systems tied together.
  • An upsurge in collaboration inside and outside the insurance enterprise.
  • New alliances.
  • New start-ups and competitors.
  • New customer demands for personalization and convenience.

Technology will enable people

But as technological solutions are integrated into the business and a number of traditional workforce roles are automated, insurers will also have to get their people ready for a digital world, whether that means retraining existing workers or recruiting new talent.

Existing roles will change—for example, the claims agent might become a customer service advocate rather than a process worker, while the product developer could become a customer experience architect. In addition, new roles will arise—we might see an ecosystem architect helping to orchestrate partnerships between insurers and third-parties such as automakers and technology companies.

As the workforce shrinks, people will need to be more tech-savvy, creative, analytical and perhaps even entrepreneurial. In this new world, the technology skills of the digital-native generation will be essential for insurers. Many insurance carriers and brokerages have an ageing workforce and face ongoing difficulty in attracting top science, technology, engineering and mathematics talent. They will need to change their staid job-for-life workplace to accommodate millennials.

A digital culture will be imperative

To establish a thriving digital culture, some insurers are creating innovation labs or teams to nurture their next generation of digital talent and solutions. Reale Mutua has set up an ideas incubator on the campus of the Turin Polytechnic, and is using teams of students and insurance professionals to develop novel protection solutions and improved insurance processes. Others are partnering with technology companies to drive innovation, like the major European insurer working with Accenture to create a connected-home solution for low income households.

This new business model places the insurer at the center of the future Internet of Things ecosystem. But, however they approach the challenges of this unprecedented change, tomorrow’s insurance leaders must adopt a mantra for success—People First.

To learn more, register to download the Technology Vision for Insurance 2016 full report.

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