The Impact of One Word on the Industry: Transformation

New SMA Blog by Karen Furtado, Partner, Strategy Meets Action

Boston, MA (June 14, 2018) – Have you ever found yourself hearing a word so frequently that it begins to lose its meaning? At SMA, we find this to be true with the word “transformation.” It is often used interchangeably with modernization, but in reality, they mean two very different things. Modernization keeps you moving forward one step at a time. It reflects incremental progress.

When we talk about transformation, we are looking at a truly profound change in an organization as it reorients itself in a new direction. The outcome of this shift bears little resemblance to an organization’s past processes or capabilities.

The insurance industry ecosystem is full of organizations that are truly transforming. Insurance companies are pivoting to be digitally based, data-driven organizations, InsurTech companies are creating future capabilities that had not been utilized – or even imagined – before, and incumbent companies are pivoting their software and analytic capabilities to support the industry in a radically different way. At SMA, we believe profound and radical change in insurance is exactly what is needed to propel the industry – as well as individual companies throughout the ecosystem – into the future.

Insurers have put substantial effort and resources into the modernization of their business processes, business models, and technology. The progress that they have made in these areas is significant, but sometimes moves at a pace that lags behind the change that is needed.

We need to showcase examples of the real transformation success stories in our industry, to inspire all of us in the insurance ecosystem, and to prove how effective transformation can be for companies willing to make a significant change.

SMA Innovation in Action Awards

That’s why each year, Strategy Meets Action holds the SMA Innovation in Action Awards. We shine a spotlight on those companies who are rethinking, reimagining, and reinventing the business of insurance. We recognize those with great vision and tangible results to share. The winners’ projects and initiatives go far beyond a slight pivot or successful modernization. They are blazing a trail for others to follow as we move into the next generation of insurance.

Submissions for this year’s Innovation in Action Awards can be made on our website at until June 30. If your company is one of the trailblazers in transformation, this is your chance to share your success story.

Transformation is also the topic of our annual SMA Summit: Transformation in Action, September 16-17, in Boston. Join us if you’re ready to put your transformation plans into action and make real progress in your company and the wider industry (or even if you just need to be inspired and motivated to get started). We will be announcing this year’s award winners at the opening reception. You can see the agenda and register for the Summit at

About the Author

Karen Furtado, a Partner at Strategy Meets Action, is a well-known authority on insurance technology and how it fuels transformation within insurance companies. Her focus is helping insurers prepare for the future of the industry through the decisions they make today. Karen’s deep understanding of how to effect change guides insurers in the development and implementation of their transformation roadmaps. Her comprehensive knowledge stretches across core systems, the implications of InsurTech, and enhancing adaptability and flexibility in a changing market. Her commitment to promoting innovation, encouraging the exploration and adoption of new technologies, and developing proactive ways to plan for the future draws those seeking an edge. In a highly competitive world, Karen brings exceptional knowledge and experience to the challenges of connecting solutions to business and IT requirements.

During her career in the insurance industry, Karen has leveraged her business and technical experience to enable insurers to meet a wide variety of challenges. Many insurers have benefited from her advice that spans a broad field of expertise including enterprise application strategies and implementations, the influence of a rapidly changing business and technology landscape, and outsourcing services.

Karen’s opinions on insurance, technology, and transformation are highly regarded and often sought after by the press. She contributes to a number of insurance trade journals and is also a frequent keynote speaker at major industry conferences.

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

SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)

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