Last week’s key findings orbited around the customer, driving home the point that customer-centricity is at centre of the digital economy and thus the primary rationale for digital transformation. That’s the why. Now, let’s consider a second set of three key findings that look at the how.

The first of this group is that insurers lack a holistic digital transformation strategy that covers the entire value chain. Only 40 percent of respondents say they have a holistic strategy in place—a source of concern as Accenture’s experience shows conclusively that a successful digital transformation is dependent on it.

That aside, it’s noteworthy that the new role of chief digital officer is growing in popularity, while the number of digital governance committees is also growing: cross-functional collaboration will become increasingly important to drive digital transformation. I’m particularly heartened by the finding that a majority of insurers is creating a digital centre of excellence to centralize scarce skills and provide overall leadership/ governance. This is something we previously identified as a best practice, so it’s good to see it being put into effect (read Four capabilities insurers need on the journey to digital mastery and high performance for more on this topic).

A related finding is that digital-transformation efforts will often be incremental. The incremental approach is the majority choice (64 percent) with, as one might expect, with P&C insurers much more focused on in-depth, extensive transformation than life. Forty-eight percent of P&C carriers lean towards more extensive transformation, as compared with only 23 percent of life.

The challenges to digital transformation were also a focus, with the following top three looming large for more than 80 percent of respondents: the complexities of managing the change across physical channels, the constraints of legacy IT systems, insufficient organizational agility and insufficient budgetary resources for transformation.

A final group of key findings cluster around the question of technology, clearly a central consideration. The overall conclusion: Technology investment will be geared to helping insurers integrate their digital capabilities with their core systems and expanding data management capabilities.

Only 13 percent of the total sample indicate that their digital technology is totally integrated into the company, but a further 48 percent say it is “somewhat” integrated. Progress in this area will have to go hand-in-hand with wider digital transformation efforts.

Next time, I’d like to conclude with a look at some action points

For more detail on the findings, please download the full research report.

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