It only makes sense that if your mission is to reinvent insurance, you’re going to need to not only look outside your company, but also outside your industry, for answers, insights and inspiration. According to our survey, insurance executives are keen to gather new ideas from outside their organizations.
In the quest to reinvent their companies, insurance executives should not be looking to the competition for inspiration. Overall, the insurance industry has been slower than most others to embrace true transformational change. As they face unprecedented disruption, however, there is a tremendous amount of innovation taking place outside the insurance industry that can be analyzed and mined for lessons and tactics.
According to our survey, insurance executives are keen to gather new ideas, technologies and inspiration from outside of their organizations. More than one-third (37 percent) said they were most likely to look at customer demographics and insights as a way to inform their companies’ transformation strategies. Roughly a third of respondents said they were carefully observing organizations outside their sectors but in adjacent industries. A similar number said they were looking at companies with disruptive technologies to help find ideas that could fuel their reinvention agendas.
At KPMG we believe that it will be vital for insurers to go outside their comfort zones and to consult with experts with differing viewpoints and who bring disparate but useful perspectives to the transformation conversation. For example, an insurance company undertaking a transformation initiative might consider bringing on an expert from a consumer-facing industry such as the retail sector to help establish and lead their customer strategy. The point is to search for ways to make organizations more competitive, not just in the insurance sector, but with other leading organizations from other industries.
One thing is certain, however, and that is the key role technology will play in this coming wave of transformation in insurance. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said new mobile platforms and apps were both forcing change in their businesses and creating opportunities for transformation. A similar number (45 percent) expressed similar sentiments about social networking and collaboration. When it comes to data and analytics, 41 percent say they see it as both driver and enabler. The issue for the industry however, 37 percent still say that legacy systems present a real hurdle and are slowing their change initiatives.
Interestingly, however, our data shows that insurance executives are, to a large extent, ignoring emerging technologies that may end up playing significant roles in their industry. One-third of respondents said they did not think artificial intelligence would be a driver or an enabler. And one-quarter dismissed the internet of things as being consequential. Time will tell if these organizations are missing key opportunities to obtain first-mover advantage in these emerging areas.