Are Commercial Lines Insurers Investing in Traditional Foundational Technologies?

New SMA Blog by Deb Smallwood, Founder & CEO, Strategy Meets Action

Boston, MA (June 27, 2019) – Nowadays, transformation is a top buzzword in the insurance world. But beyond the buzz, it reflects what is happening in the insurance industry today – as a whole and within each company. It turns out that there is a lot going on in the commercial lines sector. According to recent SMA research, half of P&C insurers state that their company is in “transformation mode.” These insurers will be the leaders that are reshaping the industry as they position themselves for further success.

SMA has just released a new research report, Foundational Technologies in Commercial Lines Insurance: Investment, Adoption, and Business Areas. The report investigates the state of the foundational technology landscape in commercial lines insurance (those technologies that insurers have been investing in for decades, for example, technologies that support or enhance BI, core transformation, new products and services, and workforce transformation).

The report provides survey results on 26 foundational technologies, outlining investment levels, maturity, business area focus, and SMA trend analysis for these technologies that form the foundation upon which commercial lines organizations can drive transformation initiatives. In addition to an in depth look at each individual technology, SMA has also assembled an aggregate view of all the areas to get a sense of priorities and likely focus areas over the next 12-18 months. Together, the two views form a very useful means from which to gauge industry transformation progress.

SMA has termed these technologies foundational because the daily operations of the insurance company depend on automation in these areas. To be competitive today, the information, interactions, and transactions that support the full spectrum of customer acquisition and customer servicing require modern technology solutions. But these technologies are also foundational in another sense: additional systems and capabilities can be built upon them. New digital business capabilities and solutions must integrate with the foundational systems and related data.

A key takeaway from the report is that there is significant activity underway across all the 26 areas. Over half of the technology areas are garnering investment by over 80% of insurers and some by 100%! Commercial lines leaders clearly recognize the vital importance of these technologies and the need to invest in them. But they also realize that there will be challenges, and some of them are addressed in the report.

SMA will be conducting research and publishing a similar report on transformational technologies (such as AI/machine learning, the IoT, blockchain, wearables, augmented reality, and more) later this year. In the meantime, the companion to this report, 2019 Strategic Initiatives: P&C Commercial Lines, is available today and takes a close look at the drivers of change that influence insurer strategies and demand bold actions as insurers prepare for the future.

About The Author

Deb Smallwood, the CEO & President of Strategy Meets Action, is widely recognized as an industry thought leader who is known for her expertise in helping companies rethink the traditional business of insurance and position for success in the changing insurance world. Deb’s passion is to advise insurers on innovative ways to leverage InsurTech and the emerging technologies that are required in today’s digital connected world. Deb provides insights that guide insurers on their journeys to becoming the Next-Gen Insurers of tomorrow. For over 30 years, Deb has helped customers understand how to leverage technologies, shift strategies, and make the right strategic investments. Deb has worked with hundreds of insurers and solution providers over the years, enabling them to create high business value and differentiate their businesses through their decisions and investments. Read more.

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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