New SMA Research Shows Innovation Adoption is Maturing

An SMA Research Report, by Deborah M. Smallwood, Founder, Strategy Meets Action

Innovation Has Come of Age in Insurance

Boston, Mass. (Dec. 7, 2016) – Strategy Meets Action (SMA), a leading insurance strategic advisory firm, has just released a new research report, Innovation in Insurance in 2016: The Coming of Age. This report is SMA’s fifth annual report on innovation in insurance, tracking ongoing industry progress, highlighting the increasing pace of adoption, and identifying specific actions insurers are taking to respond. The report also shows how submissions for the 2016 SMA Innovation in Action Awards demonstrate the real innovation underway by insurers.

“In the last year, the traction the industry has experienced in terms of investments and reorganizations to promote innovation and new business models has been staggering,” said Deb Smallwood, SMA Partner. “The external forces and industry competition present today demand that insurers rethink and reimagine the business.”

The report highlights and discusses the following:

  • For both P&C and L&A, about one-quarter of insurers say that innovation is now being led by dedicated innovation teams, a shift from prior years where IT was the top area leading innovation.
  • Only 6% of insurers now self-identify as market leaders in innovation/emerging technologies, down from 13% last year as more realize that the pace has quickened and it is more difficult to keep up.
  • The biggest factor triggering innovation is the customer experience, with 67% of both P&C and L&A insurers saying that it is a primary driver of innovation initiatives.

According to Deb Smallwood, “Institutionalizing innovation is one of the seven bridges that are strategic for bridging to the future, and is a foundational capability that will support all other areas in the journey to become a Next-Gen Insurer.”

Figure 1

Innovation in Insurance in 2016: The Coming of Age

About The Report

This is the fifth annual report on innovation from SMA, and is based on a survey of insurers and observations regarding market activities. The report looks at the pace of adoption, what is triggering innovation, which business areas are affected the most, and how insurers are responding to the challenges.

The report also addresses innovation practices, leadership, and culture, and considers the continued and growing impact of emerging technologies and how insurers are starting their quests to build more innovative companies.

Figure 1, above, is an example from the report that illustrates the what is triggering innovation.

For the table of contents or to purchase the report, click here.

Insurers, IT solution providers, and media that are interested in learning more should contact Deb Smallwood at [email protected] or 603.770.9090.

About SMA

Exclusively serving the insurance industry, Strategy Meets Action (SMA) is an advisory services firm offering retainers, research, consulting, events, and innovation offerings to both insurance companies and solution providers. Learn more about SMA at