There’s a significant gap between organizations that leverage technology for competitive advantage and those that struggle with innovation, according to a new study from the Genpact Research Institute and ACORD.

The report, “Assessing Digital Impact Across Insurer and Channel Operations”, surveyed 113 insurance companies and MGA professionals and separated them into "leaders" and "laggards" based on their own self-reported view of the impact of digital on their business.

For example, 70% of "leaders" believe digital capabilities have a direct effect on customer loyalty. Overall, "leaders are more than six times more likely than laggards to see a substantial effect from digital on their company’s single view of the customer," the survey says.

When it comes to barriers to innovation, one area sticks out. Though 68% of companies overall said legacy systems remain a top barrier in achieving enterprise transformation, the biggest gulf was in corporate vision. Eighty-two percent of laggards said their company's insufficient vision and leadership held them back from fully realizing the advantages of digital, while only 27% of leaders said the same.

Other hurdles reported by both sets of companies include lack of talent (64%), insufficient budgets (63%), poor change management (60%), and risk aversion (58%)

“The insurance industry needs to move beyond just ‘fixing’ legacy systems," said Scott McConnell, senior vice president and global leader, Insurance at Genpact, in a statement. "This remains a critical concern; however, process transformation through the front, middle, and back office is what drives a superior customer experience and sets up a company for growth.”

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