The insurance industry is facing profound disruption as digital technologies—including artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and advanced analytics—change customer behavior, enable new competitors to enter the market and reshape our traditional business models.

To support the industry as it grapples with these changes, we created the Digital Insurer Network as a forum for insurers to discuss how they can turn digital disruption into digital advantage. As the new chairman of the Network, I thank Thomi Meyer, my predecessor, for building up this great forum for Accenture and the industry to share ideas, solve problems and create opportunities.

We recently hosted our sixth meeting—a virtual conference that brought together digital insurance representatives and Accenture subject matter experts from across Europe, Africa and Latin America. Our two keynote presentations—a sneak peek at Accenture’s 2016 Global FS Consumer Survey and a session showing how a client in the motorcycle racing world leverages advanced analytics and artificial intelligence—highlight how much the landscape is shifting and what can be learnt from other sectors.

As we discuss this new world with insurers, we find that most have embraced the importance of digital technologies; the next step is to close the gap between strategies and execution. For many, the challenge is aligning organizational competencies with digital strategy so that they can move from proof-of-concept projects to full scale implementation.

Insurers must not only invest in digital technologies and channels, but also become thoroughly digital in their skills, processes, and systems. This is a massive change management program that they will undertake over a number of years. To optimize their outcomes, they need a twofold approach:

  • Optimizing their core business with digital technology—achieving sustainable cost reductions as well as finding new and profitable ways to engage with customers;
  • Adopting disruptive models—innovating by means of radical business models and products.

As we prepare for the Digital Insurer Network’s next face-to-face meeting, which will take place in Dublin on 8 and 9 June 2017, those are among the issues that will dominate our agenda.

*If you’re a senior digital insurance executive and you’d like to find out how to join, please contact us on digitalnetwork@accenture.com.

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