Celent Life and Health Insurance Research Agenda

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2019 Outlook


The insurance industry continues to accelerate on a path toward a customer-centric digital transformation. We see fundamental changes in how the insurance products are designed and delivered, rapidly expanding and shifting distribution strategies; a new focus on customer service, and a single-minded focus on efficiency and excellence.

This inexorable journey requires insurers to transform their legacy applications, move toward a data-driven world, find new ways of speeding integration, and stay on top of emerging technologies. The ways organizations think about the role of technology, manage technology, and deliver technology to transform the business are radically changing.

Celent’s research in 2019 will help insurers on their own digital journey with advice on the transformation process; case studies and data benchmarking industry trends; and original research highlighting the future.

Given the volume and pace of change, we do not publish a precise annual research agenda in advance. However, there are some themes, focus topics, and specific regular reports, which you can be sure to see covered by Celent in the coming year.


Our key research themes provide the latest thinking to assist clients along their transformation journey.

Digital — How Can Insurers Leverage Data and Devices to Make Their Operations Leaner, Smarter, and Faster?

Digital transformation has brought fundamental changes to business models, products, channels, and the way products and services are being delivered. A redefinition of the customer experience, task and decision automation, communication dematerialization, mobility, new sources of data, and artificial intelligence are all key enablers of this transformation. In 2019, we will focus on how insurers are using technology to digitize a customer-centric experience, improve decisions, and react to real-time events. We will break digital down to better understand its impact on core insurance processes and decisions including customer interactions, product design, underwriting, and claims. And with the heavy focus on the role of data, we’ll take a deeper dive into the world of analytics and artificial intelligence.

Innovation — How Should Insurers Innovate, Prioritize Innovations, and Navigate the “Insurtech” Ecosystem?

Insurers are using multiple approaches and techniques to drive innovation. The recent explosion of technology startups that have attracted funding has created a complex insurtech ecosystem. While some insurers work very effectively with these new types of organizations to drive innovation, others find it difficult to understand the value of insurtech and are looking for ways to optimize their own innovation processes. We will continue to follow the rise of insurtech, how insurers are creating capabilities to partner effectively with startups, and ways insurers can organize their internal processes to manage these well. We will also spotlight key emerging technologies and their application to the insurance industry.

Ecosystem and Legacy Transformation — How Far Should an Insurer Go to Rationalize its System Landscape?

Many insurers are still running legacy systems that can be a bottleneck in their digital transformation journey. While many try to simplify their system landscape, it remains difficult to find the optimal trade-off between operational and business excellence. Ecosystem and legacy transformation triggers many strategic questions that insurers need to address. In 2019, we will continue to profile the best legacy modernization initiatives. We will also detail how APIs, microservices, DevOps, and cloud technologies impact an insurer’s legacy modernization programs.

Regional Hot Topics

Each year, Celent highlights a set of industry hot topics that are driving change in local markets.In previous years, we described emerging trends around stages of the insurance value chain in both commercial and life underwriting, claims, and distribution management; the growing use of data services and the implications for privacy and permissions; and, in particular, compliance with GDPR in Europe and its implications globally. In 2019, we will continue to cover regional topics, which have an impact on technology strategies and decisions.

To access a more detailed outline for our 2019 plans, Celent Clients can log into the website and download the full Research Agenda.