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Start, Enable, and Scale Digital Transformation in Insurance

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Start, Enable, and Scale Digital Transformation in Insurance

Boston Consulting Group,

5 min read
5 take-aways
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What's inside?

Disguised as a threat to legacy systems, digital transformation of the insurance industry is the ultimate opportunity.

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The insurance industry is going digital. Most companies are already setting up online portals, analyzing customer data and offering individualized digital services. Still, they’re failing to reach their full digital potential. The end goal is a responsive company that can meet customer needs 24/7 and offer a steady stream of new, individualized services. But how can companies get from their current state to this mystical, agile future? The Boston Consulting Group outlines the challenges and opportunities of scaling digital transformation in the insurance industry.


Incumbent insurance companies that cling to legacy systems will struggle to digitize.

Insurance companies have long benefited from legacy products, IT and agent sales channels, but legacy systems now stand in the way of digital transformation. Agents may be suspicious of new digital sales channels, legacy IT systems tend toward rigidity and legacy products may be too complicated to allow for flexible IT systems.

Failing to consider the customer perspective when outlining new customer journeys, neglecting to update the operations that undergird digital initiatives, and creating unnecessarily difficult sign up processes for new apps and portals only exacerbate the challenges for insurance companies.

Companies benefit from adopting a three-step framework to guide digital transformation: “Start, enable and scale.”

The initial stage of a digital transformation framework involves implementing pilot programs to test novel customer journeys. When deciding where to focus first, consider “number of transactions, expected efficiency gains and qualitative criteria such as impact and organizational buy-in...

About the Authors

Erwin Dirnberger specializes in digital insurance at the Vienna office of the Boston Consulting Group. Michael Urban is a managing director and partner in BCG’s New York office, and Bodo von Hülsen holds the same position in the Munich office.

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