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Chief Data Officer and insurtech specialists can be powerful partners

CDOs and insurtech specialists can be powerful partners for digital change

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The rising number and growing importance of chief digital officers (CDOs) is a sign of how high up digital change is on the business agenda. And as a study by PwC reveals, insurance is leading the field.

PwC strategic consulting group Strategy& has released the findings of its 2016 chief digital officer study of the world’s largest 2,500 public companies. The study showed that 19 per cent of companies have a CDO, up from 6 per cent in 2015.

Meanwhile 35 per cent of insurers have appointed a CDO, putting insurance ahead of all the industries examined in the study. In second place is communications, media and entertainment (28 per cent), followed by banking (27 per cent) and consumer products and retail (27 per cent).

The study also found that:

  • 60 per cent of CDOs were hired in 2015 and 2016, underlining the growing urgency to address digital change
  • Approximately 40 per cent of companies have a c-level executive dealing with digital operations, with 67 per cent using the title of chief digital officer
  • About 32 per cent of CDOs have technology backgrounds

Building a digital future together

With the internet of things, the growth of big data, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence, insurers need a clear strategic direction and a unified approach. One of the main hurdles is to introduce the latest technology while still dealing with legacy systems. Change is always a challenge, especially if there is a headlong rush to seize the benefits of new technology. It’s therefore important to have a holistic view and a firm understanding of long-term needs as well as short-term gains.

The rise of the insurance CDO will help pave the way for successful insurtech transformations. This is particularly true when CDOs work closely with established insurtech providers rather than with insurtech startups. The enthusiasm and technical ability of startups is rarely matched with the necessary industry knowledge and strategic vision.

Partnership and long-term strategy is a cornerstone of RDT’s approach, and has led to developments such as Equator, the company’s centralised rating hub, and innovative insurance apps. RDT welcomes the appointment of CDOs as a catalyst for change and a foundation for stronger and more effective technology partnerships.

Source / Infographic: PwC Strategy& (Germany) GmbH