Mobility is the most important digital technology priority for large enterprises, according to a new global study by Accenture has found, as 77% of global C-suite leaders identify it as a top five priority. Big data analytics came next with 72% putting it in the top five, followed by connected products at 65%.
Technological integration is the foundation for success in any business, and the insurance industry is no exception. Implementing technological advances, whether it is through mobile apps, cloud computing, social media or analytic tools, technology serves to drive market differentiation, business growth, innovation, adaptability, collaboration and profitability.
To examine how companies are using digital technologies in a technological age, Accenture surveyed nearly 1,500 C-level executives at companies in 14 countries, including 150 insurers. Its research led to four identifiable conclusions about the integration of technology in the business setting, listed in the Accenture Mobility Insights Report 2014:
- Strategic investment. Respondents view investment in digital technologies as being strategic, enabling them to engage with customers and promote growth, rather than being an addition to preexisting IT landscapes.
- Aggressive adoption. Companies are moving to adopt mobile technologies and applications that help them achieve specific business objectives and developing strategies to guide their efforts.
- Mobility challenges. In many cases, organizational and operational shortcomings have made it difficult for companies to take full advantage of mobile capabilities. Often, there can be a lack of formal metrics to measure effectiveness of efforts, as well as insufficient funding for mobile priorities.
- Mobility leaders. These “mobility leaders” are distinguished in Accenture’s research as companies that are more ambitious, strategic and implement a cross-company approach to mobility that is backed by involvement with senior leadership. Substantial monetary commitment is also in place to support the development of mobile capabilities.
Click through the following slides to learn more about Accenture’s key findings.
One of the greatest shortcomings in mobile integration among companies, according to the report, is that companies have not made substantial progress toward mobile priorities that are important to their businesses.
The most prevalent shortcoming among companies is a lack of formal metrics, which enable companies to measure the effectiveness of their mobile initiatives. Eighty-five percent of respondents do not have analytical metrics in place.
On average, just over 40% of companies have made at least “good progress” across their priorities. Less than half of respondents described their overall adoption and deployment of mobile technologies as effective.
Companies also struggle to determine where and how mobility can have the greatest impact. Eighty percent of respondents said that their organization does not have a formal process for evaluating, identifying and prioritizing the ways mobility can positively contribute to the business.
Other issues stem from the inability to keep pace with new mobile devices, systems, and services, having no clearly defined, centralized ownership of mobility initiatives within the organization, failing to develop new or redesigned business processes to incorporate mobility, and a lack of internal and external skills.
According to the survey, two-thirds of companies experience shortcomings related to the actual rollout of mobile capabilities, and this is likely preventing further progress. Developing and maintaining apps can also be one of the greatest struggles, as well, as it can also impact the a company’s ability to target customers with their app, as operating issues might dissuade customers from using it.
Keys to Success
Despite that 86% of survey respondents have not yet seen a payoff for mobility initiatives, one in 10 respondents reported having more than 100% return on mobility investments in the last two years. This group was designated as “mobility leaders,” and Accenture highlighted some of the trends in their strategies that strongly correlate with return on mobile investments.
The mobility leaders, however, are not the biggest or richest companies from the survey. Diversity in location and size of these companies prove that effective mobile implementation can generate return on the investment for almost any company.
The survey lists three traits of these tech leaders:
A formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategy and measurement: Mobility leaders are ahead of the curve as 43% of enterprises on average were found to have developed a formal mobile strategy, a vast improvement on the 23% that claimed one in a similar survey carried out by Accenture last year. Leaders also have a formal process for identifying, evaluating and prioritizing ways in which mobility can benefit business.
These leaders are distinguished because of their ambitious, strategic and cross-company approach to mobility that is backed by active involvement of the company’s senior leadership, and by substantial funding dedicated to mobile development. These companies also have a methodology in place for developing and deploying mobile apps.
Experiences of the mobility leaders suggest that success with mobility requires dedication of both resources and attention. Engagement with company leaders and commitment to building mobile capability as a core part of their operations have allowed these companies to stand apart from the rest.