Over the past few weeks we’ve discussed the five trends transforming insurance and how insurers can use them to their advantage. Today we’ll examine the overriding message to carriers on how they can deliver on the promise of digital.

What has become crystal-clear is that the industry is changing at a rapid rate—not at the edges, but fundamentally. And it’s digital, in all its different guises, that’s driving this change. As our recent Digital Innovation Survey showed, while the majority of carriers are investing in digital to improve the efficiency of their existing processes, products and services, the Digital Transformers (as we call them) are, in addition, pursuing growth through customer-centricity and the development of new business models.

It’s great that the Digital Followers are gaining the benefit of their investment. But they have to question the sustainability of their conservative approach, when disruptive forces, breakthrough technologies and formidable new competitors are shaking the industry to its foundations.

These Digital Followers can be doing a lot more to adapt to the changes and opportunities presented by the digital revolution. At the very least, they should be drawing on the experiences of the Digital Transformers, because these are the carriers that are creating much of the disruption they have to manage.

What is it that differentiates the Transformers from the Followers? Firstly, they tend not to have a digital strategy as such, but rather a business strategy that is altogether digital. Their digital investments are directed less at specific processes or operations, but are more likely to span the enterprise value chain. And their overall intent is to see the world through the eyes of their customers, so that they can find new ways of creating value for them—and in that way drive long-term growth for themselves. In the process, they’re likely to pilot new innovations, partner with other businesses to form value-generating ecosystems, and acquire inventive new start-ups that give them a stake in new business models, products and services. This is what we mean in the Technology Vision report when we talk about the shift from “me” to “we.” It’s by mastering this shift that leading enterprises are shaping a new economy.

Read the report.
Read the report.

The question that every insurer should be asking himself, in the light of all the change and disruption he faces, is: what role will my company play in the next stage of the digital revolution? Almost every facet of this revolution represents, at the same time, an opportunity and a threat. The Digital Transformers have already answered the question. They’re not sitting around, waiting for the next wave of technological innovation to wash over them, or for some new technology standard to be adopted. They’re putting themselves in the driver’s seat. They’re busy reinventing themselves, aiming for the opportunities and pursuing new avenues of growth. They’re making their big moves, and the important thing is that they’re not directed internally, at their current operations and processes. Instead, they’re stretching their vision and their boundaries as they shape the next generation of their products, services and business models.

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