Low-interest rate environment, corona recession, digitalization pressure - exactly the right phase to set the course for the future and take the transformation into your own hands - as our former CTO Jörg Treiner finds.
Low-interest rate environment, corona recession, digitalization pressure - exactly the right phase to set the course for the future and take the transformation into your own hands - as our CTO Jörg Treiner finds.
In times of rapid change and uncertain markets, strategic decisions for the digital future seem incomparably tricky. These questions arise:
I often observe how answers are sought in the current technology charts or the overambitious implementation of agile approaches. This path quickly turns into cherry-picking with projects often becoming lighthouses in an ocean without land. The gain in knowledge - the actual learning - for your own company is, therefore, almost zero.
Another obstacle is the use of force in vain: What is the point of operating a Kubernetes cluster in your own data center if essential self-services such as contract information cannot be offered online to customers?
However, these supposedly easy to recognize misfocuses only become apparent when the first agile teams start to develop MVPs, and the necessary basic infrastructure then has to be provided very expensively and quasi "ad-hoc" by an agile team.
The idea is to reduce your energy requirement for your basic movement and free resources to focus on what generates Value-Adds.
A transformation approach must answer the question of how to rid oneself from unnecessary weight. Insurance platforms take off unnecessary ballast. They provide customer data, products, and processes as an infrastructure service. By using such platforms, you gain extra energy for shaping the future - instead of preventing it.
By contrast, frequently encountered, technologically-oriented "IT modernization programs" lead to continuously high costs - but no significant benefits.
When technologies overtake each other, as is currently the case every two to three years, modernization has no objective. Still, it is, in reality, costly maintenance of one's infrastructure. It's time to break the devil's cycle.
Platforms often promise quick and successful success regarding the transformation marathon. However, this transformation often comes to a standstill after the very first powerplays. Here are just some examples of what I observed:
To avoid these pitfalls, one should focus on the design principles of the platform of choice:
The platform must be able to transform the current business model:
The high bandwidth of functionalities, benchmarkable cost ratios, and decoupling of necessary reinvestments to keep the platform state-of-the-art are essential requirements.
Every company is faced with its transformation challenge and has to answer these requirements for itself. Therefore, it is important that possible solutions do not limit and restrict the scope of action, but rather expand it. For example, a transformation process can be started via cloudification, an API project, or even migration. We need platforms that allow fundamentally different transformation starting points and, at the same time, ensure that the various activities converge architecturally in the end to meet the requirements of digital "simplicity."
So-called coopetition models are increasingly common on the market: Insurers cooperate in a non-differentiating market segment: Together, we are stronger!
For these models to work, partners need an open and neutral platform that allows digital solutions to be implemented quickly and efficiently under fair conditions.
The question remains as to why a big decision should be made now of all times in favor of a platform:
I think the answer lies in the idea of making a big decision. Transformation is a marathon, a sequence of many small steps. Helpful here is baggage relief, a strong team, and the ability to design routes flexibly. The right platform offers support for many different situations without limiting future options.