Digital transformation will spark a hunger for new types of skill, and insurers are likely to experience shortages, at least in the short term.
Changing the corporate culture to integrate your digital transformation (whatever specific form it takes) into the company is, as I said last time, very much a long-term project that needs great energy. Along with, and part of, the shift in corporate culture will be the need for new types of people.
Some of them will be required to provide the totally new set of technical and other skills that a digital insurer will need. In especial high demand, we at Accenture believe, will be the new breed of digital and analytics professional with an understanding of the insurance industry. The digital insurer will be driven by data, using precise insights based on analysis of the data, to respond to even quite small shifts in individual customer behavior. As we all know, there’s going to be a lot of data—the key will be the ability to process it and generate these insights. The emerging cadre of analytics professionals is already in great demand—and in short supply, and same goes for digital and multi-channel experts.
Looking at this topic, my colleagues at the Accenture Institute for High Performance have showed that there is a looming global analytics talent mismatch in insurance. The importance of analytics in insurance—in product development, marketing and distribution and claims processing—is growing, and thus access to the right analytics skills will be critical.
There are ways of helping to close that gap—as the paper makes clear—but in the short to medium term this scarce skill (and there will probably be others) will be at a premium. Alongside these types of very focused skills, of course, digital insurers will also find themselves looking for (and attracting) people who are skilled in customer relationship management and marketing—as well as those who are adept at identifying and exploiting new business opportunities. (Visit Accenture Interactive to explore the new marketing roles implied by digital transformation.)
One of the common approaches we see at present is the creation of digital and analytics centers of competence/ excellence within companies, or even the creation of digital and analytics innovation labs. These approaches not only help to address the talent gap by attracting top people and maximizing their impact, they also address the important subsidiary issue of how to drive this new way of looking at things and doing business throughout the organization—something that members of the Digital Insurance Network raised. I will explore this topic next week.
Meanwhile, ask yourself this question: Is your company looking for the right people to support its digital transformation?