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Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2017: Insurance sector snapshot

Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2017: Insurance snapshot

Commitment to investments and a focus on driving cultural change are critical for insurers to convert their digital investments to value.


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Navigating Uncertainty

Insurers are under unprecedented pressure to leverage disruptive technologies to drive out cost and to enable growth. The 19th edition of our annual Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey reveals that insurance companies have indeed invested much more heavily in digital labor than those in other industries, and they place a greater emphasis on developing new products and services.

This is no surprise since developments in technology and data analytics are creating great opportunities for insurers to provide their customers with the right service and products at the right time. A focus on the customer remains a priority and products must reflect their changing needs and demands.

Key highlights

Some of the key findings from the insurance sector include:

  • Insurance Boards want their IT to increase operational efficiencies, deliver consistent and stable IT performance and develop new products and services
  • They have invested much more heavily in digital labor as compared to companies in other industries, yet only 15% of them described their digital strategies as very effective
  • Compared to their peers in other industries, insurance companies excel at managing risk and security (41% vs 32%), but lag in key capabilities such as developing the right culture (12% vs 21%), facilitating the use of data and analytics (11% vs 16%), and fostering innovation (5% vs 16%).
  • They also face similar challenges as other industries when implementing digital capabilities - overcoming resistance to change and the ability to implement new technologies.

Many insurers are using digital labor to drive their transformation strategies, including incubating concepts in venture capital units, or partnering with insurtech startups. The majority have robotics/automation pilot projects under way and have managed to automate routine processes.

Insurance visionaries recognize that digital labor goes beyond cost savings and headcount cuts; it can unlock productivity, organizational agility and customer responsiveness, enabling them to compete with nimbler start-up rivals.

Despite this potential, insurers often fail to turn pilot projects into full-scale production, or to share gains around the enterprise. It is therefore not surprising that insurers are behind in realizing value from their digital investments. Maintaining momentum and commitment to these investments, together with a focus on driving culture change are critical to converting investments into value.

About the survey

The Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey is the largest IT leadership study in the world, with almost 4,500 respondents across 86 countries, representing over US$300bn of IT budget spend.

This insurance sector snapshot provides survey responses from more than 200 insurance companies on some of the key topics, and highlights several areas where this sector's responses significantly differed from those across all industries.

We hope that this report provides insights to help you deliver results today but also anticipate the changes you may have to make to be successful in the future.

If you have any questions about the survey results and ideas, or would like to discuss how KPMG can help your organization achieve greater success, please do not hesitate to contact your local KPMG advisors.

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