In 2021, we continued to see unprecedented challenges and opportunities for the global insurance industry and the world at large. Throughout this time of profound change, ACORD has been evolving alongside the insurance community, as we have for the past 50 years.
One of our key areas of focus in 2021 was our ongoing prioritization of the rapid digital transformation occurring in the industry. Though the digitization of insurance has been an inevitability, the pandemic served as an accelerant and an inflection point. Stakeholders were compelled to invest in and interact through these digital channels, regardless of their previous stage of technological maturity. Now these digital capabilities are expected by consumers and trading partners, embedded in business processes, and essential to our future.
Our annual ACORD Digital Maturity Study, available to members as part of our portfolio of strategic reports and thought leadership materials, underscores this reality. The last several annual studies revealed the need for insurance stakeholders to embrace technological transformation.
ACORD has worked to support the industry and this transformation. Over the last year, we released dozens of updates and enhancements to our Next-Generation Digital Standards. ACORD’s digital standards saw significant growth in their implementation across all lines of business. Through the ACORD Solutions Group and our vendor partner community, we have developed best-in-class solutions for standardized global data exchange. In 2022, we will continue our efforts to help members achieve higher levels of digital maturity and drive industry-wide progress. ACORD standards, solutions, and assets will continue to reflect the needs of our rapidly changing industry.
Our industry is also in the midst of significant challenges and opportunities in its ongoing need for talent. As a new generation enters the workforce and over 25% of current professionals approach retirement, the industry must be intentional about attracting, acquiring, and retaining the best colleagues.
ACORD supported incoming and prospective insurance professionals through multiple avenues in 2021. Through the ACORD Insurance Technology Career Center, student outreach, and educational partnerships, we have directly supported the finding and training the next generation of professionals. Looking ahead, we are excited to further engage with emerging leaders as they shape the future of insurance.
Now in our sixth decade, ACORD remains positioned for relevance, growth, and impact. With more than 36,000 participating organizations and over 100 countries served, ACORD continues to reach new and established industry stakeholders across the globe with our standards, solutions, and assets.
Our members are at the core of these achievements. Your dedication and participation in our mission are crucial to helping us prioritize industry needs and fulfill our mission. We thank you for the opportunity to support the insurance community, and in our next half century remain committed to delivering value to the industry and, most importantly, our members.