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Applied Systems Reveals 2020 Digital Technology Adoption Survey Results among Global Independent Brokerages

July 21, 2020

Annual independent brokerage survey reports adoption of digital technology remains steady year over year

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. – July 21, 2020 – Applied Systems today announced the findings of its annual Applied Digital Brokerage Survey, providing an industry-wide benchmark for brokerages to measure their digital technology adoption and progression towards digital transformation. Survey questions assessed degree of technology adoption to calculate a digital score for each brokerage and identify baselines for industry-wide technology adoption. The 2020 Applied Digital Brokerage survey results indicate that 44% is the average digital technology adoption score –  nearly the same as in 2019 – revealing that there remains a significant runway of opportunity for brokerages to realize the benefits that digital technology affords to service and support connected consumers.

The survey questions examined five core competencies of a digital brokerage, including management system capabilities, mobility, insurer connectivity, analytics and cloud software. Brokerages scoring 80% or higher across all core competencies were considered to be digital brokerages, having adopted most of the key drivers of digital transformation.

Key survey findings include:

  • Digital strategies: Results showed 51% of brokerage respondents have a digital strategy, with larger brokerages ($25M+ in revenue) more likely to have one.
  • Foundational management system: Ninety-five percent of brokerages leverage a management system, confirming that it is the foundation of business operations and indispensable for day-to-day operations.
  • Mobile: Thirty-three percent of brokerages use client self-service portals, which represents a 50% increase year over year. Similarly, adoption of client mobile apps also increased 50% year over year to 27% versus 18% in 2019. For all regions combined, 52% of brokerages have extended mobile technology to their employees.
  • Insurer connectivity: Personal lines remains the most widely adopted at 84%. Claims download experienced the greatest growth at 60% versus 57% in 2019. The continued growth in insurer connectivity reinforces the increasing importance brokerages place on digital connectivity with insurer partners.
  • Analytics: Although global adoption of analytics software is lower compared to other tools, 29% of brokerages reported using data analytics applications, which is a 26% increase year over year.
  • Cloud: Up 9% year over year, 71% of brokerages choose to host their software in the cloud, and it continues to be the top choice among brokerages for software hosting.

“When we began our annual digital brokerage technology adoption survey, we couldn’t have predicted the scale of operational impacts the pandemic would create for all our businesses,” said Taylor Rhodes, chief executive officer, Applied Systems. “And while the survey results show positive progress toward technology adoption, I expect the current environment will further accelerate adoption of technology, enabling brokerages to operate remotely and create connected customer experiences as they build their digital path forward.”

Survey Methodology
More than 700 independent brokerages across the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland participated in the 5th Annual Applied Digital Brokerage Survey, from which the results of this report were generated. Respondents voluntarily participated in an online survey conducted in Q1 2020. The findings are based on responses to a set of questions about brokerage technology use. Responses provided the data to calculate a digital score for each brokerage taking the survey and identify baselines for technology adoption.


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About Applied Systems
Applied Systems is the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Recognized as a pioneer in insurance automation and the innovation leader, Applied is the world’s largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems, serving customers throughout the United States, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom. By automating the insurance lifecycle, Applied’s people and products enable millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most.

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