Digital Leadership – Interview with Joe Gross – Capgemini
Article Synopsis :
All the insurance providers are looking for opportunities to unlock business value through digital transformation. Digital edge is the need of the hour in order to differentiate one’s services for sustainable growth in the future. Here are the key points of an interview conducted by Capgemini Consulting with Joe Gross, Head of Group Market Management at Allianz. He discusses the role of digital leadership, start of digitisation process, key challenges and the future of digitisation strategy at Allianz.
On Key driving force behind Allianz’s move to digitalization
According to Joe Gross, key driver to digitisation initiative has been the new customer trends that expect service providers to be available 24/7 anywhere in the world. Clients are looking for convenience and they bank on comparative analysis of digital services before choosing a vendor. There is a dramatic shift in the process of client acquisition due to the metamorphosis of customers’ taste. Allianz felt the need to use digital media for client acquisition through client referrals, online campaigns, and social media and took digitisation as a tremendous opportunity to transform the customer experience.
On Allianz’s digital strategy
According to him digitisation is not only about zeroing on IT and operations, but it’s an integration of sales and marketing right from the word go. Following a holistic approach, i.e. both top-down and bottom-up by engaging upper management and operating entities is a key to success in the digitisation process.
Allianz is responding to growing customer demands by developing a global Web platform “Allianz oneWeb”, engaging and responsive broker interfaces and mobile quoting apps. Allianz is successfully using social media for client acquisition in Germany, Brazil and India.
On key challenges
As the digitisation initiative is going to impact whole organization, change management has been one of the key challenges. While dealing with change, it was necessary to maintain the enthusiasm and willingness for digitisation at all levels including senior leadership, middle management and operational team.
Another challenge was in the form of talent acquisition. Joe Gross acknowledges that financial services have been quite fast in adapting to digitisation, but it’s not true in the case of the insurance sector. This delay is due to lack of benchmark or company references to fall back on. Due to lack of benchmark it is difficult to leverage upon skill set available with in-house talent pool. Size and complexity of business model also poses challenge as it slows the pace of transformation. Joe Gross acknowledges the slow pace and is keen on accelerating the momentum. He is clear that this change management process will take its own time to bear fruit in terms of profitability in the future.
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Digital Insurer's Comments
Competitive pressure and increasing customer demand has rendered digitisation necessary for every organization. While trying to enhance market share and gain competitive edge through digitisation one must keep the following points in mind.
- Although being slow in digitisation process renders sustainability, but there is a chance of losing business to agile competitors.
- Effective change management should be implemented through skill development and training programs. External hiring will be needed for skills not available in-house
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