Culture and people the biggest barriers to digital evolution: Swiss Re

30-11-2021

Culture and people the biggest barriers to digital evolution: Swiss Re

The risk-transfer industry will continue to rapidly evolve driven by the pressures of technology – but one of the biggest challenges could be changing mindsets and culture. That will be one of the themes of a virtual webinar hosted by Intelligent Insurer, “Digital Evolution and Industry 4.0: Re/insurers must adapt or die”, which will take place on December 7.

“Technological barriers are easier to overcome than mindset shifts needed to support digital transformation. The biggest risk we run with digitisation is that it is the perfect recipe for the cultural fabric to get weaker, if not executed and adopted properly.”

That is the view of Pravina Ladva, group digital transformation officer, Swiss Re, speaking in advance of a special virtual webinar hosted by Intelligent Insurer, “Digital Evolution and Industry 4.0: Re/insurers must adapt or die”, which will take place at 3:00pm GMT on December 7. The session will also feature “digital revolutionaries” from Mapfre, Aon and DLA Piper—leaders who are responsible within their respective organisations for driving digital transformation and change.

Digital evolution has become the new key battleground for success and market share. In this session, panellists at the front line of the digital revolution will explore the different strategic approaches of companies in this space.

“The challenge is how to filter the signal from the noise and ensure the innovation is business and market-led.” Pravina Ladva, Swiss Re

Platform plays

Ladva argues that, for all the talk about the challenges and opportunities presented by the technology itself, the biggest risks to companies looking to implement and embrace a digital future are represented by people and culture—as opposed to hardware or software.

“How do we cultivate the digitally-minded culture that can deliver greater business impact?” she asked. “How do we nurture a culture of agility and curiosity, a learning culture that pushes our people to explore the world of possibilities? How do we give our employees the licence to conduct rapid experimentation, and even fail if needed, in order to learn?”

Ladva’s views will be expanded upon in the webinar, which will cover the continued evolution of technology in commercial insurance, reinsurance and the Lloyd’s Market, where it has already revolutionised many aspects of the risk transfer chain as well as the operations side of companies, including claims.

Some companies are leading the way in innovating towards a better future, but others are dragging their feet—and becoming left behind as a result. It’s now clear that organisations with Industry 4.0-aligned cultures, skillsets, and mindsets will have the greatest success.

In this context, Ladva observes that the industry is increasingly moving from pure risk transfer solutions to risk insights, where platforms and ecosystems will play an increasingly important role.

“The metrics for a platform play are very different from the ones that have historically been used. Is there an increased adoption or an increased abandonment?” she asked.

“If you look into the ecosystems of platforms that have fizzled out, they didn’t fail overnight. There were leading indicators that the platform was going to fizzle out. Similarly for platforms and ecosystems that have succeeded, they had the right ingredients for the virtuous circle, or the ‘flywheel’, to take effect.

“For the ecosystem to succeed there is a need to maximise the value for all partners in the ecosystem. The competitive advantage will thus not be solely on products, but how the product sits within the wider ecosystem,” she said.

She references the speed with which new insurtech businesses have emerged in recent years, often funded by venture capital. “Venture capital funding for insurtechs has been growing and the value propositions the insurtechs are offering have been expanding,” she noted.

“It becomes increasingly important for incumbents to partner with insurtechs to come up with better products and develop a frictionless experience for the end customer and clients. The challenge is how to filter the signal from the noise and ensure the innovation is business and market-led, rather than technology-led.”

She concluded: “The competitive advantage comes from a refreshed business strategy for a digital world which majors on striking new partnerships with the right ecosystem players and coming up with ways to monetise new business models for exponential growth.”

 

The full line-up of speakers at the virtual webinar hosted by Intelligent Insurer,Digital Evolution and Industry 4.0: Re/insurers must adapt or die”, at 3:00pm GMT on December 7, will be: Pravina Ladva, group digital transformation officer, Swiss Re; Joan Cusco, global head of transformation, Mapfre; Anthony Day, partner, international head of insurtech, DLA Piper; and John Wang, digital expert and partner, Aon’s Inpoint team. It will be moderated by Wyn Jenkins, managing editor, Intelligent Insurer.

Swiss Re, Webinar, Technology, Digital, Insurance, Reinsurance, Pravina Ladva, North America, Global

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