Industry Trends | Read Time: 4 Minutes

2017 Digital Technology Adoption Trends

October 12, 2017

By: Reid French


From new industries to new economies, technology is changing the way we live and work. All of us are experiencing a more connected life in a more connected world. Those connected experiences are impacting the expectations of insurance consumers across our industry. To meet these expectations, our industry must deliver a connected experience between all participants in the insurance ecosystem. This means greater connectivity and simultaneous exchange of information between all key insurance stakeholders — agents, insurers, policyholders and prospective clients.

Charles Darwin once said, “We don’t have to be the strongest or the smartest to survive – we just have to be the most adaptable.” To ensure a lasting and profitable future, agencies and brokerages must integrate digital connectivity into daily operations, which requires adopting and leveraging modern technologies.

How well are agencies adapting to the digital transformation of insurance?
For the second consecutive year, Applied Systems has released insights from our Annual Digital Agency Survey, which reveals the latest industry-wide digital technology adoption benchmarks for independent agencies and overall industry progression toward digital transformation.

While the independent insurance agency channel has progressed in its adoption of technology, this year’s results indicate there is still considerable opportunity ahead to recognize the full potential of being a digital agency. Regardless of where your agency ranks compared to your industry peers, understanding the role digital technology plays in a world more connected than ever before is the first step to ensuring your business thrives today, tomorrow and in the years ahead.

Key findings from this year’s report

  • 44% is the average score for digital technology adoption for an independent agency in 2017
  • 144% higher revenue per employee is realized by agencies that have digitally transformed

Agency Management System

  • 30% more revenue per employee is realized by agencies that leverage an integrated management system
  • 25% of respondents do not have complete visibility into all departments within one management system

Insurer Connectivity

  • 17% higher revenue per employee is realized by agencies that leverage insurer connectivity to access markets and automate information exchange
  • 89% increase in eDocs and Messages download year over year


  • 9% higher revenue per employee is realized by agencies that leverage client self-service portals
  • 4% higher revenue per employee is realized by agencies that provide clients mobile access to policy information

The Cloud

  • 35% higher revenue per employee is realized by agencies that reduce time and expenses by managing IT within the cloud
  • 66% of respondents rely on the cloud to host their agency management system

Data Analytics

  • 40% more revenue per employee is realized by agencies that utilize data-driven insights when making business decisions
  • 77% of respondents do not use a business intelligence tool

To learn more about how a digital agency delivers on the core promise of insurance – to safeguard and protect what matters most in people’s lives – read the 2017 Digital Technology Adoption Benchmarks and Trends.

Download the Full Report >

Reid French Headshot

Reid French

Reid French, Former Chief Executive Officer at Applied Systems, was responsible for the company's overall business strategy and operational execution. He played a prominent role in developing and fostering relationships throughout the Applied community. French came to Applied in 2011, after serving as chief operating officer at Intergraph Corporation, a global company at the forefront of geospatial and computer-aided design software. Early in his career, he was a strategic planner for the Walt Disney Company, and he managed investment banking transactions in the technology sector for Robinson-Humphrey. French holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Davidson College and a master's in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School. He sits on the board of directors for Applied, Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) and The Lovett School in Atlanta.