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Insurers lag in adoption of digital solutions

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While the majority of insurers believe in the importance of digitalization to serve customers, many express concern that they will be left behind because of shorter-term corporate policies, according to a new report.

Ernst & Young arrives at this conclusion in a survey conducted to ascertain digital technology adoption levels, strategies and execution on these strategies. The survey also probes the insurers’ plans for implementing digital solutions and the challenges they face.

They report reveals that almost 80 percent of the surveyed companies do not see themselves as “digital leaders.” They believe instead that they “only play the digital game” or are “still learning to use digital capabilities for a competitive advance.

Additionally, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents say they have no single cohesive digital strategy. More positively, 57 percent say that within three years, they intend to have a regularly updated digital business case that integrates detailed budgets and forecasts with financial and HR planning.

A majority of the companies polled do not think they have an appropriate operating model. Only 12 percent of respondents say their organizational structure facilitates their digital strategy, but more than half lack the right operating model to deliver digital capabilities.

Additionally, more than 40 percent of insurers have support from senior management and a digital sponsor within their C-suite. But more than one-third of respondents believe senior management support is “not always backed by actions, budgets or resources.”

Currently, only 5 percent say their C-suite execs “personally lead by example” and incorporate digital platforms (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) into their agenda. However, only one-third intend to do so in three years.

The majority of insurers use digital technologies at a basic level to support customer value management, the survey shows. Just over one in 10 (11 percent) use predictive modeling to identify prospects for targeted, personalized e-mail marketing campaigns.


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