Will transformation in insurance continue to take as long?

Will transformation in insurance continue to take as long?
Published: 12 June 2020

“We have done more in the last two months than we have done in the last two years” stated a CEO at Berwick Partners’ and Odgers Interim’s round table discussion on how COVID-19 has exposed the lack of digital maturity within the insurance sector. 

The speed at which this company had made changes was as a direct result of how quickly COVID-19 had impacted on their operating model, and they took decisive action to accelerate change. Matt Connolly, our guest speaker and CEO of insurance intelligence platform, SØnr shared the findings of a recent survey of 50 C-level insurance executives which unsurprisingly highlighted that 70% were presently reviewing their digital strategy. 

Finding that 100% of respondents were stuck on how to accelerate it, struck a chord with the group. For some, it meant that operational activities like post-room and distributing cheques hadn’t been considered and for others, it was how technology was changing employee and customer behaviour. The key takeaways from the session were: 

  • Customers now have no alternative but to engage and transact through purely digital channels, setting a precedent for future interactions, improved customer data and new business models. 
  • The opportunities for innovation are often in addressing ‘back end’ operations. 
  • Decisions must move away from being made at product level and focus on the customer. 

For a business whose interest is recruiting senior talent, the conversation naturally turned to the role of leadership in positioning the company for growth post-COVID. The leaders in attendance described how they are not short of good ideas, but the ability to identify and prioritise the winning ones is paramount. It was recognised good ideas aren’t purely self-generated but can be accessed through the build, buy, partner model, which requires further collaboration to make these partnerships work effectively.

With the observation that there isn’t a ‘full stack’ insurance company in operation, the sector has an opportunity to make greater use of data and technology to really understand how it can deliver value as well as extend beyond its core market. By aligning the businesses assets, such as talent, competencies and capital within a culture of customer-first thinking and collaboration, traditional insurers can compete against the growth of InsurTechs, provided they act with decisiveness, pace and agility. 

For more information, please contact Kathryn Gallan,  a Consultant in our IT & Digital Leadership Practice.

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