Every year Accenture pulls together our most visionary experts, our internal research team, our Technology Labs, and the many academics, analysts and our alliance partners to produce the Technology Vision for Insurance. The study examines the business and technology landscapes to identify trends that are likely to have the most profound impact on our clients in the years ahead.
This year, for the first time, we supplemented this process with a global survey of 2,000 business and IT executives – including 221 insurance executives – to capture their insights on emerging technologies.
Although each year’s report focuses on the most important emerging trends, the results don’t mean that past trends – such as Relationships at Scale, Seamless Collaboration and Design for Analytics – have become any less influential. If anything, they’ve grown in importance over the past 12 months, and in most cases have provided the foundation for the issues we’re addressing this year.
What we’ve been seeing for some time is the growing pervasiveness of digital, in all its different forms. In the early stages it was deployed internally, mostly to improve processes and efficiency. More recently, the companies leading the way with digital – we call them the Digital Transformers – are adopting a two-speed approach. The first of these addresses the carrier’s short-term goals by optimizing specific processes, products and services. And then at the same time they are investing in their future by exploring the transformative potential of digital across their entire value chain.
These front-runners are using digital to re-examine who and what they are, and what they can become. They’re still looking internally, but they’re doing it from the perspective of their customers. This outside-in approach enables them to review their products, services, and their whole way of operating within a framework that looks for new ways to generate value for customers and growth for themselves.
We call this the We Economy, a new collaborative landscape where service is personalized and real-time, measured by outcomes, and delivered through powerful ecosystems.
We’ve been saying for some time that “every insurer is a digital insurer,” so dependence on digital is nothing new. But although the Digital Followers are increasing their reliance on technology in key parts of their business – with good results – Digital Transformers are, in addition, implementing digital business strategies that span the organization and extend beyond the enterprise. They’re digitizing every employee, process, product and service.
What’s more, they’re creating a kind of digital fabric that connects not only all aspects of their business, but also their customer relationships, their business partnerships, and the world around them. The Internet of Things is just one part of this all-embracing digital fabric. The more advanced insurers are using it to get closer than ever to their customers; to increase the frequency, personalization and value of their interactions with these customers; and to offer a limitless variety of new services from within an ecosystem of providers. Digital is not only becoming more pervasive, it’s fundamentally transforming the face of business.
In my next blog I’ll describe the five key trends identified in the Tech Vision survey and get into more detail on each of them.
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