Risk and opportunity in an increasingly digital world

May 2015

The increasing digitization of insurance raises issues about strategy, risk, market and organizational structure, workforce, and cultureissues that, in the final analysis, require the full board’s careful attention. Like the technology itself, insurers’ understanding of the impact of digitization is evolving rapidly. Following a recent meeting of the Insurance Governance Leadership Network (IGLN), one expert remarked, “I’m very encouraged. A year ago the question was ‘Is this important?’  Now it is ‘What do we do about it?’”  

On March 24, 2015, IGLN participants met in London to discuss digital transformation, what it means for complex insurers, and how boards can add value as insurers make strategic decisions in an increasingly digital world. For a list of meeting participants, see Appendix 1 on page 12. Despite progress on insurers’ digital strategies, IGLN participants acknowledged that a tremendous amount of work remains to be done. During their conversations, participants identified several important themes and areas ripe for progress. Each of these areas has implications for resource allocation, strategy, and organizational structure. This ViewPoints is guided by the following questions:  

  • How should board directors define and think about digital transformation?

  • How quickly are leading insurers embracing the digital world?

  • How can traditional insurers redefine their offerings to remain relevant?

  • What should boards do to lead organizations through digital transformation?